HURRICANE, W.Va. -- Courtney Rogers' introduction to the St. Albans Red Dragons softball program was one the Hurricane sophomore would rather forget.
On Tuesday, the Redskins (14-2) pitcher and her teammates turned the tables on the Kanawha Valley's Class AAA traditional softball kingpin. Rogers gave up three singles, struck out six and shut out fourth-ranked St. Albans (15-2) in a 9-0 rout that lasted just five innings.
"Last year, it was like the total opposite. We knew about last year, and we wanted to come out and do it to them," said Redskins shortstop Cassi Sargent, who doubled, tripled and drove in three runs as part of Hurricane's 12 hits against St. Albans senior starter Ali Haynes.
"That was terrible for us last year. It was our first loss, I think. We kept that in our mind, and we knew we couldn't take them lightly at all," Sargent said.
Class AAA No. 5 Hurricane has had plenty of wins -- three consecutive against St. Albans, including one in the 2012 Mountain State Athletic Conference championship game -- since SA tagged Rogers for 14 hits in a 12-2 win at St. Albans on April 4 of last year. In fact, their recent mastery of the Red Dragons is noteworthy. St. Albans has now gone 12 innings without scoring against Hurricane.
But there was something additional, and unusual, about the way Tuesday's win came together.
"I didn't pitch well," Haynes (15-2) said. "I just didn't, and when you don't pitch well against a team that can hit like them it's going to cost you."
St. Albans Coach Greg Garber said that Haynes' velocity was down, and noted her atypical lack of control as helpful to the Redskins' onslaught.
It didn't take long for Hurricane to jump on Haynes. Madi Casto led off the bottom of the first with a sharp single to center and advanced to second when SA center fielder Briana Pauley mishandled the ball in the outfield. Nicole Pierson followed with a bunt single, and Rogers brought both of them home with a rip down the third-base line.
"Last year she shut us down in the first game, and we really wanted to get back at it quick," Rogers (8-1) said of her team's aggressiveness at the plate in the early innings.
Haynes couldn't escape the inning without further damage. Linzie Reynolds took a 3-1 pitch and smacked it out of the park for a two-run homer, her fourth of the season.