BUFFALO, W.Va. -- Two-time defending Class A softball state champion Buffalo has made a recent living off the freshmen produced by the program.
In 2011, pitcher Chelsey Parkins led the Bison to a Class A crown with a 20-5 record. A year ago, another freshman pitcher - Ali Burdette - helped give Coach Darrell Moore his second straight title and the program's fourth overall when they finished with a 32-7 mark.
Wednesday, the tradition of clutch play by the school's ninth graders continued, when catcher Chase Christy drove in the winning run with a sixth-inning single that helped Buffalo pick up a 1-0 win over visiting Scott (3-2).
"We've had a few good ones. Chase is playing a little of everywhere for us," Moore said. "She's played some third base, some short and she's caught. We think she'd pretty good at two positions, and I think we might have just found a third."
Christy had struck out twice in her first at-bats against Scott sophomore pitcher Ally Brown, who took a hard-luck loss with nine strikeouts and giving up only four singles.
In her third at-bat, Christy turned on a pitch that was low and inside, pulling it into left-center field. Parkins, who had singled earlier in the inning, came around to score the game's only run.
"You can't let yourself get down in a game like this," said Christy, who caught nine strikeouts thrown by Parkins on a cold day during which the ball seldom left the infield.
"You've just got to trust in your teammates and your defense and not get down," Christy said of maintaining focus through the pitcher's duel.
Buffalo (4-0) only put the ball in play one time through its first nine batters. Brown started off strong, striking out six in the first two innings and seven through three.
Parkins, who was pitching for the first time this season, got stronger as the game went on.