The winner will meet either Shady Spring of Greenbrier East in the Region 3 finals.
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AS FAMILIAR as Hurricane is with Midland and SC is with Ripley, No. 8 St. Albans (27-4) is looking forward to the newness of facing its Region 4 semifinal opponent, Point Pleasant (17-8).
"I know some of their players from travel ball and things like that, but overall I don't know much about them," St. Albans senior pitcher Ali Haynes said last week. "We haven't played them, but I kind of like not knowing much about them."
Haynes is most familiar with Big Blacks senior first baseman Kaci Riffle, who is hitting a team-leading .479 with three homers and 21 RBI. Riffle formerly was Point's ace, but has been relegated to status as the team's No. 3 pitcher this season as sophomore Madison Barker (11-3, 107 strikeouts and a 1.62 ERA) led the team through a streaky season whose high point was a 9-2 win over Class AA No. 1 Ritchie County in New Martinsville on April 13.
Point fell 3-2 to Class AAA defending state champion and top-ranked John Marshall the same day in the Magnolia Invitational championship game. The Big Blacks have lost games to Ripley, Class AA No. 2 Herbert Hoover and unranked Class AA schools Sissonville and Chapmanville through the course of the year.
Junior shortstop Madi Marshall leads St. Albans in hitting with a .494 average and 18 RBI. Senior catcher Mariah Caudill is hitting .460 with four homers, seven triples, and 52 RBI while Haynes is hitting .462 with four homers, 16 doubles and 32 RBI. The pitcher is 26-4 with 155 strikeouts and a 1.52 ERA.
The winner of the game between St. Albans and Point Pleasant will play at either Cabell Midland or Hurricane for the Region 4 championship May 16.
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ELSEWHERE, the Class AA Region 4 semifinals will see Sissonville (15-12) play at No. 2 Herbert Hoover (24-3) for the third meeting between the teams this season. Hoover has won each of the previous games by a run. The Huskies won 3-2 in eight innings at Sissonville on April 8, then beat the Indians 2-1 at home on April 17.
Today's winner will play at either Chapmanville or defending state champion Wayne in the Region 4 final next week.
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IN CLASS A, top-ranked and two-time defending state champion Buffalo (28-4) travels to Wahama (20-11) to take on a competent White Falcons team that reached the Class A finals of Buffalo's Best of the Best Tournament last month before falling to Sherman.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at derek.tay...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT.