www.charlestondailymail.com Prep Sports http://www.charlestondailymail.com Daily Mail feed en-us Copyright 2015, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Walk-off hit lifts Nitro past Logan for baseball sectional title http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150519/DM03/150519152 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150519/DM03/150519152 Tue, 19 May 2015 22:56:13 -0400 By Derek Redd CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The third baseman who had been looking for a hit all game finally got one, and drove home the backup catcher, a guy who hadn't played the position all year until the fourth inning of his previous game.

And with that, the Nitro High School baseball team beat Logan, 5-4, at Nitro on Tuesday to win the Class AAA Region 4, Section 2 championship.

Eddie Flores' two-out, walk-off base hit scored Matt Harrison and short circuited what was a furious seventh-inning Logan rally. Now Nitro (22-8) gets to host Point Pleasant on Monday in the regional semifinals.

Logan (23-7) nearly did to Nitro on Tuesday what Nitro did to Logan on Monday - recover from a deficit to shock the home team.

"A lot of credit goes to our kids, especially our pitching staff," Nitro coach Steve Pritchard said. "(Logan) applied pressure the entire tournament against us, 19 out of 21 innings. For us to keep them down to a total of 11 runs over 21 innings is pretty good. It says a lot about our team."

Nitro nearly succumbed to the pressure in the top of the seventh. Six strong innings from Nitro starter Kipp Brewer allowed Nitro to enjoy a 4-1 lead over Logan, and Pritchard let Brewer try to finish out the game on the mound. He walked the first two batters he saw that inning and Pritchard relieved him with freshman ace Levi Kelly, who already has verbally committed to LSU.

But Kelly walked the two batters he faced, bringing in a run with that second walk, which ended Kelly's night on the mound and moved Flores over to pitch. Then an errant throw to first allowed two more Logan runs to score and tie the game at 4-4.

Nitro rallied with two down in the bottom of the seventh, Harrison reaching first on a fielder's choice, stealing his third base of the game, then sprinting home when Flores poked a hit past Logan first baseman Alex Toler.

"My first walk-off hit after three years of being here?" Flores said. "That's a whole different story. We just came back like we always do, like the old Nitro teams did. Do anything to win."

Tuesday was the rubber match of the three-game Logan-Nitro sectional battle. Logan took the first game in Nitro, 4-1, but Nitro retaliated at Logan, clawing out a 5-3 victory.

While some thought Tuesday's game would feature a Game 1 pitching rematch between Logan ace Zach Minnick and Nitro star Kelly, Pritchard instead put Brewer on the mound to start the contest, with Kelly in center field. Harrison started at catcher for Nitro after usual starter Matt Jewell was ejected from Monday's game in the fourth inning.

Brewer struck out eight over six innings, allowing just four hits and walking five. After a Connor Akers RBI single in the second, Logan didn't score again until the seventh.

"He was strong," Pritchard said of Brewer. "He was good. He threw exactly how and where we wanted him to throw all night. He did an excellent job."

Pritchard also praised Harrison, a junior who hadn't caught since he was a freshman. He's played nearly everywhere else for Nitro this season, and Nitro coaches weren't worried about putting him behind the plate. He also hurt Logan on the basepaths, scoring two of Nitro's runs.

"We needed it, so I did everything I could to get it," Harrison said. "I could run on that catcher and I did earlier in that game. I trusted myself and I went for it."

Nitro opened the scoring in the bottom of the first. Harrison, who ended the top of the first by throwing out Minnick as he tried to steal second, jogged to first after being hit by a Minnick pitch. He stole second, moved to third on a fielder's choice ground out and came home on Andrew Stone's sacrifice fly.

Logan responded in the top of the second with Akers' RBI single.

Nitro scored a pair of unearned runs in the fifth. With runners on second and third, Matt Harrison grounded to third baseman Chase Burnette, but Burnette's throw to first bounced low and sailed away, allowing Kelly and Jason Douglas to cross home.

"That finds a way of coming back and hurting you," Logan coach Roger Gertz said of his team's errors, "and it did today."

Nitro scored on another error in the sixth. Minnick pitched the entire game for Logan, striking out five, walking three and giving up four hits, taking a no-hitter into the fifth.

Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.redd@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.

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Box scores and statistics from Tuesday's baseball and softball games http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150519/DM03/150519153 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150519/DM03/150519153 Tue, 19 May 2015 22:55:57 -0400 Baseball

Class A Region 4, Section 4

At George T. Smailes, Sr. Field

BUFFALO 2, CHARLESTON CATHOLIC 1

Charleston Catholic 001 000 0 - 1 2 2

Buffalo 000 100 1 - 2 3 0

Catholic: Dominic Marsico, Jordan Covelli (7) and David Hamilton; Buffalo: Nick Whittington and Connor Fields.

WP - Whittington (7-3; 2K, 3BB); LP - Marsico (2-2; 3K, 4BB)

Hitting: Catholic - Luke McKown 2-3; Trae Swisher RBI; Buffalo - Dillon Williams RBI; Whittington GW RBI.

Records: Catholic (19-14), Buffalo (20-12).

Class AAA Region 3, Section 3

SOUTH CHARLESTON 3, GEORGE WASHINGTON 1

South Charleston 000 102 0 - 3 3 0

George Washington 000 010 0 - 1 4 0

SC: Jared Hill and Cole Lanier; GW: Druw Bowen and Connor Moffatt.

WP - Hill (7.0 IP, R, ER, 4 H, 7 K, 4 BB); LP - Bowen (7.0 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 H, 6 K, 4 BB).

Hitting: SC - Antonio Brown HR, 2RBI; Michael Lore RBI; GW - Joshua Petit 2B, RBI.

Records: SC (25-5).

Class AA Region 4, Section 2

POCA 9, SISSONVILLE 3

Sissonville 200 100 0 - 3 4 5

Poca 000 441 x - 9 7 1

Zac Boggess, Trent Bodnard (5) Austin Casto (6) and Cade Snyder; Austin Henrich and Ricci Sovilla.

WP - Henrich (7 IP, 3 K, 1 BB); LP - Boggess.

Hitting: Sissonville - Ethan Lauchart 2B, RBI; Houston HIll RBI; Poca - Matt Chandler 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Carson Cottrill RBI; Brandon Payne 2B, 2 RBI.

Records: Sissonville (19-12), Poca (11-18).

Class AAA, Region 4, Section 2

NITRO 5, LOGAN 4

Logan 010 000 3 - 4 4 2

Nitro 100 021 1 - 5 4 3

Zach Minnick and Ryan Holstein. Kipp Brewer, Levi Kelly (7), Eddie Flores (7) and Matt Harrison.

Hitting: Logan - Zach Minnich 2-4; Nitro - Andrew Stone RBI, Eddie Flores RBI.

Records: Nitro (22-8), Logan (23-7).

Softball

HURRICANE 5, CHAPMANVILLE 1

Chapmanville 000 000 1 - 1 8 3

Hurricane 302 000 x - 5 8 2

Chap: Kanzie McCain and Savannah Wiley; Hur: Courtney Rogers, Emily Davis (7) and Katie Adams.

WP - Rogers (6 1/3 IP, R, ER, 9 H, 4 K, BB); LP - McCain (6 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 8 H, 2 K, 3 BB); SV - Davis.

Hitting: Chap - McCain 3-4, Holli Carter RBI; Hur - Rogers HR, 2RBI; Amber Null 2B, RBI; Adams RBI; Jayme Bailey RBI; Cassi Sargent 2B.

Records: Chap (21-9), Hur (33-2).

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Poca tops Sissonville to force decisive sectional baseball game http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150519/DM03/150519154 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150519/DM03/150519154 Tue, 19 May 2015 22:53:30 -0400 By Chris Wade CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Sissonville looked to possibly be on its way to a sectional baseball title, leading by three runs with pitcher Zac Boggess throwing a no-hitter through three innings at home against Poca on Tuesday night.

However, the wheels fell for the Indians as the Dots stormed back to score nine unanswered runs and stave off elimination by earning a 9-3 victory at Sissonville in Class AA Region 4, section 2 play.

With the victory, Poca improves to 11-18 and ties the series at 1-1 and forces a third and deciding game Wednesday, also at Sissonville (19-12).

"This is the potential we have had all year," Poca coach Mike Hutchinson said. "Hopefully we can we can carry the momentum over until (Wednesday). We just haven't had a chance to put it all together. We have had guys hurt all year and haven't been at full force."

Poca got some timely hitting, but was also aided by Sissonville as the Indians defense committed five errors. Sissonville pitchers issued four walks and hit three batters.

"We came out and noticed they were a little lackadaisical before the game," Sissonville coach Steve Pickerell said. "We came out and put two on the board. Then when they got up, we didn't match their intensity and they took advantage of it."

Sissonville scored two runs in the top of the first inning on a RBI double from Ethan Lauchart and RBI groundout from Houston Hill, and then added a third run in the fourth inning on a Poca error.

Boggess was rolling for the Indians, not giving up a hit through his first three innings with five strikeouts and no walks. The Dots, with their season on the line and in jeopardy, finally rallied in the fourth.

Poca took the lead it wouldn't relinquish by scoring four runs in the frame on just two hits, and was also helped by two walks, a hit batsmen, and a Sissonville error.

Austin Henrich led off the inning with the first Dots hit of the game and Matt Chandler followed with an RBI double. After a strikeout the next four Poca batters reached on a walk, hit by pitch, walk, and another error, paving the way for their comeback.

Poca added four more runs in the fifth inning to take a commanding 8-3 lead, and once again did it on just two hits. The Indians helped their cause this time with a walk, hit batsmen, and two more errors.

Chandler, who broke his hand early in the season, was playing in just his second game since the injury. The senior provided a huge lift for his Dots with three of the seven hits, two RBI, and four assists at third base.

"I'm feeling real good right now," Chandler said. "I thought I was out for the rest of the season. That's what the doctor told me. The other day, I took my cast off and he said I could throw but it may sting hitting. It does but I just want to win."

Hutchinson couldn't overemphasize the importance of Chandler being back for the Dots.

"As soon as he got cleared, everyone was all pumped up and ready to have him back," Hutchinson said. "Psychologically it had just as big as an impact on the team as it did physically."

After giving up two runs in the first inning, Henrich settled down on the mound for Poca, only allowing another run the rest of the game. He went the distance, allowing just four hits.

"Thats the type of pitcher he is," Hutchinson said. "He just focuses on his job and doesn't let a whole lot get to him. He has has experience pitching in big games and that was what we expected out of him tonight."

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Buffalo evens baseball series with Charleston Catholic http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150519/DM03/150519155 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150519/DM03/150519155 Tue, 19 May 2015 22:53:25 -0400 By Michael Dailey HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Charleston Catholic gained the upper hand in its best-of-three sectional series Monday, with an 11-run scoring outburst in a five-inning, mercy-rule win over Buffalo.

On Tuesday, it was Buffalo junior Nick Whittington that proved to be the difference.

Whittington (7-3) tossed a complete-game two-hitter and knocked in the game-winning run with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the seventh to lead the Bison to a thrilling 2-1 win that evened the Class A Region 4, Section 4 series at 1-1. No. 6 Catholic dropped to 19-14, while seventh ranked Buffalo improved to 20-12.

The decisive third game is slated for 5 p.m. Wednesday at George T. Smailes, Sr. Field at the YMCA Kennedy Center, with the winner squaring off against Wahama in regional semifinal play.

For Whittington, the performance was just as he’d imagined since he was a baseball-loving kid growing up in Putnam County.

“To be honest, when I was on the mound and in the batter’s box, I was thinking that this is what I always think about when I was little or when I’m lying down in bed,” Whittington said. “I always wanted to be in situations like that and God just put me in the right place today.

“I thought about it all night and all day long just trying to get myself ready for this. My cousin pitched in a state championship game and I was thinking about how he had to step up as a senior and that’s what I tried to do. I knew it could have been our last game if we didn’t come through.”

Catholic drew first blood in the third inning when Luke McKown singled and scored on an RBI ground out by Trae Swisher. McKown also singled in the fifth inning to finish with both Irish hits.

Buffalo battled back in the fourth inning, with the help of a pair of infield errors by the Irish.

Sam McKown’s throwing error with one out allowed Brandon Buntura to reach, and a fielder’s choice, a two-out error by Swisher extended the inning, allowing the Bison to capitalize with Dillon Williams’ RBI infield single to plate Buntura with the tying run.

Catholic junior right-hander Dominic Marsico (2-2) was equally impressive on the mound, tossing 6 1/3 innings, while allowing just two hits, before finally running into trouble in the seventh.

Marsico recorded the first out in the inning, but was replaced by Irish closer Jordan Covelli after a one-out walk to Buffalo’s No. 9 hitter Austin Starcher. Stephen Booth entered to run for Starcher and scored when the left handed hitting Whittington slapped the game winner over the third base bag.

“Dom did an excellent job for us,” Mehle said. “I almost hated to take him out there with the game on the line, but Jordan’s been our guy in those situations all year, and you go with what got you this far successfully.

“It was a seeing eye single that hit the base after he had him on two strikes. It was a well-played game by both teams, but we just didn’t have enough quality at-bats and we didn’t string them together. Nick pitched a good game and he got the better of us today.”

For Tribble, Tuesday’s performance was what he’s looked for all season long from his relatively young squad.

“Normally in the situation we were in, one of two things are going to happen,” Tribble said. “They’re either going to come out and just roll over, get 10-run ruled again and go home or they’re going to scratch, claw and fight to stay alive and that’s what they did tonight.

“I’ve been trying to get them to play like that all year, but I guess they needed to have their backs to the wall to where they knew it was going to be over. I knew the team that played Catholic (Monday) wasn’t Buffalo. We had 10 walks, come on. Tonight was a lot better. Sometimes it all comes down to how hungry you are. Baseball is a game of intestinal fortitude and sometimes it comes down to how bad you want to win.”

The Irish will also enter Wednesday’s contest with a fresh mindset.

“Now it’s a best of one series,” Mehle said. “I know our guys are disappointed because they wanted to close it out tonight, but that’s the nature of the game. From here on out the rest of the postseason, it’s single elimination, so we might as well start that tonight.

“After tonight, it’s win or go home.”

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Hurricane softball team extends winning streak to 22 games http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150519/DM03/150519159 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150519/DM03/150519159 Tue, 19 May 2015 22:50:30 -0400 FROM STAFF REPORTS

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Courtney Rogers hit a two-run home run and struck out four to help the Hurricane cruise past visiting Chapmanville 5-1 in softball on Tuesday night.

The win over Chapmanville extended Hurricane's winning streak to 22 games since losing 3-1 road game at Musselman back on April 9.

Amber Null added a double and an RBI, while Katie Adams and Jayme Bailey also each chipped in with an RBI for the Redskins (33-2).

In the loss, Holli Carter picked her team's lone RBI, while Kanzie McCain went three-for-four at the plate for the Tigers (21-9).

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Prep roundup: Sissonville opens baseball sectional with win http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150518/DM03/150519252 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150518/DM03/150519252 Mon, 18 May 2015 23:06:21 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Sissonville opened the Class AA Region 4, Section 2 tournament with a 7-4 win against visiting Poca on Monday.

The Indians (19-11) trailed after three-and-a-half innings, but rallied late to pull out the win. J.R. Stricklen (8-0) worked six innings, striking out 10 along the way, to pick up the win.

Josh Landis paced Sissonville with three hits, including an RBI, while Stricklen and Jacob Fisher each knocked in single runs.

For Poca (9-18), Austin Henrich and Donte Barnett had two hits apiece, while Barnett and Ricci Savilla each had two RBI.

The teams will square off again Tuesday at Sissonville at 6:30 p.m., where a Sissonville win will clinch the sectional, and a Poca win will set up a winner-take-all game three on Wednesday.

South Charleston 3, George Washington 1 - Jacob Marler tossed a complete-game, two-hitter to help lead South Charleston to the win over George Washington (14-12) in Class AAA Region 3, Section 2 high school baseball play.

Marler, a junior right-hander, struck out 10 and walked just two in 110 pitches thrown.

Senior Michael Lore did the damage at the plate for SC (25-6) with a three-run double in the fourth, that accounted for all of the Black Eagles' runs.

Patriots senior Jeff Wong took the loss, allowing five hits over six innings, with six strike outs and six walks.

Clayton Anderson had both GW hits, while driving in the lone run.

The two teams will meet again Tuesday at George Washington, where a South Charleston win will clinch the sectional title, and a Patriots win will face a decisive game three at South Charleston on Wednesday.

Charleston Catholic 11, Buffalo 1 - Charleston Catholic (19-13) scored seven runs in the first inning and then added four more in the fourth to give Buffalo (19-12) its first sectional loss of the post season. Liam Bailey struck out five and walked six giving up one run on one hit in four innings of work for the Irish. Brandon Combs hit a home run in the fourth inning driving in two runs putting the Irish up by 10. Alex Belcher went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI for Catholic. Thad Jameson and Nick Russo both had a double and an RBI in the win. Jordan Covelli added 2 RBI. Buffalo's Michael Haber had a double and an RBI in the loss. Charleston Catholic and Buffalo meet again Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the YMCA Kennedy Center in Huntington.

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Nitro baseball team survives at Logan http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150518/DM03/150519253 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150518/DM03/150519253 Mon, 18 May 2015 23:03:44 -0400 By Rich Stevens LOGAN, W.Va. - The Nitro High School baseball team lives to play another day in the Class AAA Region 4, Section 2 tournament.

Not that the  Wildcats didn't make it hard on themselves in Monday night's 5-3 comeback victory over Logan (23-6) at Roger E. Gertz Field.

Freshman Levi Kelly hit his first career home run - a two-run shot over the right field fence - to tie the score in the fifth and Nitro (21-8) took advantage of three Logan errors combined in the fifth and sixth innings to force a winner-take-all meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Nitro's Brandon Matthew Sneed Field.

"It's funny that you have a state tournament atmosphere in the sectional," said Nitro coach Steve Pritchard, a proponent of reshaping the baseball postseason and Region 4, Section 2.

"We're both state tournament-caliber teams. (Logan) is quality coached and they put pressure on us every inning, except for the second and sixth. We expect the same (Tuesday)," Pritchard said.

The season will end for one of the teams tonight, while the other will advance to the May 25 regional semifinals at home against Point Pleasant (14-16).

On Monday, Nitro had to finish the last three innings without starting catcher Matt Jewell, who was ejected in the fourth inning after the count went to 1-2 on a called strike.

That leaves Jewell suspended for three games, including Tuesday's series-deciding meeting. Junior Matt Harrison took over behind the plate, and is expected start at catcher on Tuesday.

Nitro trailed 2-0 when Jewell left, but Kip Brewer led off the fifth with a single and Kelly hit an 0-2 pitch that carried over right field. Pritchard's team extended the lead when Andrew Stone, who was 2-for-3, was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, resulting in an unearned runs for Nitro.

"It was a fastball, up and away, I think," Kelly said. "I was trying to hit the ball (to the right) to get Kippy over to third. I was thinking ground ball to second. He did the same thing in the second inning, he left it up and I drove it (for a fly out to right). Give the credit to Kip there. Lead us off, getting on."

Logan threatened to regain control in the fifth, getting the first two runners on with no outs. Nitro starting pitcher Jacob Bradley then caught Chase Burnette and Jared Shawver looking for back-to-back strikeouts. However, senior Connor Akers - the grandson of legendary Logan basketball coach and WVU player Willie Akers - hit an RBI single to tie the score.

Logan coach Roger Gertz relieved Shawver, the starter, with senior Chase Preston. He also moved catcher Zach Minnick to shortstop.

The first ball hit by Bradley in the inning resulted in an error on Minnick. A passed ball and a Brewer walk was helped by Preston trying to turn and catch the runner napping at second. He threw it into center field for Logan's second error of the inning. Jacob Williams added a run-scoring single and Jason Douglas, Nitro's unsung freshman and No. 9 hitter, hit a sacrifice fly to right for an insurance run.

"I was trying to get two runs in, but I only got one," Douglas said. "I wanted to drive in two runs and put the game away."

Nitro relief pitcher Eddie Flores, who flashes a slider and fearlessness, surrendered just a single to Preston in the seventh after going to the mound to start the sixth.

Tuesday's matchup was expected to be a rematch of the sectional opener with Minnick going for Logan and Kelly for Nitro.

However, Pritchard is rethinking that plan, since Brewer "struggles in relief," he said.

In Brewer's last relief appearance on May 9 against George Washington, he surrendered four earned runs in 2/3 of an inning just 10 days ago.

Nitro is seeking its first sectional title since finishing as state runner-up to Princeton in 2012.

Gertz said his team should be prepared for Tuesday, because "this is what they played their whole life for."

"It's no different than Nitro coming here with their backs against the wall," he said. "You make your breaks and try to take advantage of them."

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstevens@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4837. Follow him on Twitter @richdailymail.

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Sissonville's Jones commits to UC hoops http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150518/DM03/150519270 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150518/DM03/150519270 Mon, 18 May 2015 22:28:12 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Sissonville girls soccer and basketball standout Madison Jones has committed to play basketball at the University of Charleston, Jones announced Monday in a tweet.

Jones, who averaged 17.7 points per game last season as a junior on Sissonville's Class AA girls basketball state championship team, was selected as the Daily Mail's Kanawha Valley girls soccer co-Player of the Year in 2014. As a sophomore, she helped lead the Indians to a Class AA/A girls soccer state championship as well as a runner-up finish in Class AA girls basketball.

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Kanawha Valley prep softball leaders http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150518/DM03/150519278 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150518/DM03/150519278 Mon, 18 May 2015 20:54:45 -0400 Kanawha Valley softball stats through May 18

Team records      

W L Pct.

Hurricane 32 2 .941

Buffalo 28 6 .824

Sissonvile 23 6 .793

Herbert Hoover 21 6 .778

South Charleston 25 9 .735

Riverside 19 12 .612

Charleston Catholic 14 11 .560

Winfield 16 13 .551

Poca 10 19 .345

Nitro 5 11 .313

George Washington 5 15 .250

St. Albans 6 21 .222

Capital 0 17 .000

Batting average

(Minimum 2 at-bats per team game)

Name, school H AB Avg.

Ali Burdette, Buffalo 50 77 .649

Kiersen Landers, SC 63 108 .583

Alexee Haynes, Sissonville 42 80 .525

Chase Christy, Buffalo 44 86 .512

Madison Casto, Hurricane 59 117 .504

Nichole Brown, Nitro 26 52 .500

Casey Skeens, Poca 40 80 .500

Katie Adams, Hurricane 46 93 .495

Olivia Orcutt-Lazo, SC 48 102 .471

Maddie Hebb, Hurricane 44 97 .454

Elise Peden, Catholic 29 64 .453

Katie Legg, Winfield 32 71 .451

Jazmine Martin, SC 38 89 .427

Courtney Allen, Buffalo 43 101 .426

Allison Rager, Hoover 26 61 .426

Jayme Bailey, Hurricane 44 105 .419

Gracie Donato, Riverside 35 84 .417

Kendall Carson, Catholic 26 63 .412

Cassi Sargent, Hurricane 41 101 .406

Riley Whiting, GW 17 42 .405

Olivia Dunn, Buffalo 38 94 .404

Shawna Lane, Hoover 31 77 .403

Amber Null, Hurricane 43 107 .402

Courtney Rogers, Hurricane 42 105 .400

Talia Corbett, Catholic 23 58 .396

Emily Davis, Hurricane 38 97 .392

Karli Pinkerton, Sissonville 31 79 .392

Kelly Knuckles, SC 36 92 .391

Paige Scruggs, Hurricane 36 93 .387

Brooke Persinger, Buffalo 32 83 .386

Taylor Legg, Sissonville 33 86 .384

Hannah Pullen, Riverside 30 79 .380

Katelyn Linville, Sissonville 33 87 .379

Kati Angle, Hoover 28 75 .373

Madison Bowles, Hoover 27 73 .370

Ally Cavendar, Catholic 20 54 .370

Allie Persily, Catholic 26 71 .366

Olivia Cochran, GW 16 44 .364

Kendal Marshall, Riverside 32 88 .364

Lauren Pauley, Riverside 27 75 .360

Amanda McDonald, SC 28 79 .354

RBI

46: Burdette, Buffalo

44: Rogers, Hurricane

43: Bailey, Hurricane

39: Hebb, Hurricane; Orcutt-Lazo, SC

38: Bowles, Hoover

37: Haynes, Sissonville; Sargent, Hurricane

36: Christy, Buffalo

32: Knuckles, SC

30: Adams, Hurricane; Pullen, Riverside

27: Donato, Riverside; Emily Moore, Winfield; Null, Hurricane

26: Landers, SC; Rager, Hoover

25: Carson, Catholic; Marshall, Riverside

24: Brown, Nitro; Davis, Hurricane; Reagan Johnson, Sissonville; Martin, SC; Persinger, Buffalo

23: Casto, Hurricane

Home runs

9: Burdette, Buffalo

8: Bailey, Hurricane

7: Landers, SC; Kenna Markham, Winfield; Moore, Winfield; Rogers, Hurricane

6: Bowles, Hoover; Hebb, Hurricane

5: Lane, Hoover; Pullen, Riverside

4: Haynes, Sissonville; Scruggs, Hurricane

3: Brown, Nitro; Christy, Buffalo; Donato, Riverside; Knuckles, SC; Sargent, Hurricane

2: Adams, Hurricane; Emily Bostic, SC; Null, Hurricane

1: Allen, Buffalo; Molly Collins, Poca; Davis, Hurricane; Chelsea Diegert, Riverside; Marshall, Riverside; Orcutt-Lazo, SC; Kelsey Naylor, Hoover; Morgan Peters, Riverside; Pinkerton, Sissonville; Rager, Hoover; Summer Randolph, Poca; Skeens, Poca; Cali Smith, Buffalo; Tori Ward, Poca.

Triples

11: Orcutt-Lazo, SC

5: Bailey, Hurricane; Landers, SC

4: Brown, Nitro; Marshall, Riverside

3: Allen, Buffalo; Burdette, Buffalo; Casto, Hurricane; Diegert, Riverside; Dunn, Buffalo; Haynes, Sissonville

2: Bostic, SC; Hebb, Hurricane; Linville, Sissonville; Martin, SC; Natalie Miskofsky, Winfield; Peden, Catholic; Pullen, Riverside; Skeens, Poca

Doubles

16: Rager, Hoover

15: Burdette, Buffalo

14: Sargent, Hurricane

12: Haynes, Sissonville; Hebb, Hurricane; Legg, Winfield

11: Null, Hurricane

10: Carson, Catholic; Casto, Hurricane; Dunn, Buffalo

9: Angle, Hoover; Brown, Nitro; Donato, Riverside; Lane, Hoover; Scruggs, Hurricane

8: Adams, Hurricane; Allen, Buffalo; Christy, Buffalo; Davis, Hurricane; Lane, Hoover; Marshall, Riverside; Pullen, Riverside

7: Diegert, Riverside; Knuckles, SC; Orcutt-Lazo, SC; Persinger, Buffalo

Stolen bases

32: Skeens, Poca

22: Landers, SC

18: Katelyn Rasanake, Buffalo

17: Burdette, Buffalo

13: Alyssa Sparks, Riverside

12: Kailey Garten, Riverside; Cali Smith, Buffalo; Bailey Tucker, Buffalo

11: Dunn, Buffalo

9: Casto, Hurricane; Martin, SC; Orcutt-Lazo, SC; Pinkerton, Sissonville

7: Kayla Carney, Riverside

6: Jordan Bell, GW; Zoey Carte, Hoover; Diegert, Riverside; Legg, Sissonville; Linville, Sissonville

Pitching wins

21-1: Burdette, Buffao

17-2: Rogers, Hurricane

17-3: Rager, Hoover

16-6: McDonald, SC

14-11: Talia Corbett, SC

11-0: Davis, Hurricane

11-2: Haynes, Sissonville

11-4: Kendal Parkins, Sissonville

8-2: Landers, SC

8-4: Donato, Riverside

7-5: Allen, Buffalo

6-3: Abbie Short, Winfield

5-1: Pullen, Riverside

5-4: Cartney Schoolcraft, Winfield

ERA

0.43: Burdette, Buffalo

0.94: Rager, Hoover

1.31: Davis, Hurricane

1.58: Rogers, Hurricane

1.86: Haynes, Sissonville

2.12: Pullen, Riverside

2.13: Parkins, Sissonville

2.33: Donato, Riverside

2.37: Schoolcraft, Winfield

2.53: McDonald, SC

2.63: Landers, SC

3.12: Short, Winfield

Strikeouts

210: Burdette, Buffalo

186: McDonald, SC

154: Rager, Hoover

127: Corbett, Catholic

84: Haynes, Sissonville

80: Ward, Poca

79: Tori Green, GW; Landers, SC

77: Rogers, SC

71: Schoolcraft, Winfield

70: Parkins, Sissonville

65: Davis, Hurricane

64: Donato, Riverside; Pauley, Riverside

53: Jasmine Luikart, Poca

51: Allen, Buffalo

Note: Statistics unavailable for St. Albans.

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GW-SC baseball sectional has a different twist http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150517/DM03/150519348 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150517/DM03/150519348 Sun, 17 May 2015 21:10:49 -0400 By Rich Stevens CHARLESTON, W.Va. - South Charleston assistant baseball coach Chad Campbell's knowledge of George Washington, the team he coached from 2006-14, could be the edge the Black Eagles seek when the ranked rivals open the Class AAA Region 3, Section 3 tournament at 6:30 on Monday at SC's Bryan-McElwain Field.

Campbell resigned his post at GW in 2014 before becoming an assistant under SC head coach and father in-law Ken Samms with the Black Eagles (24-6).

The sectional that has provided marathon matchups, tense moments and ultra competitiveness between the in-laws might not be toned down much emotionally.

In fact, that familiar verve is expected when the best-of-three series gets underway with the first pitch on Monday.

Campbell, a South Charleston alumnus, downplayed any advantage after coaching four of GW's current seniors when they were starters in 2013.

"I don't play the game, I'm not on the mound and I'm not hitting and neither is Ken," said Campbell, who works with the pitchers at South Charleston. "We can play a small role to get the kids ready to play. I guess maybe I know a few tendencies at the plate, but they could've gotten better at those things."

Since Logan was moved out of Region 3 to Region 4 prior to 2013, the Black Eagles and Patriots are all square in head-to-head postseason meetings with three wins apiece. South Charleston was sectional champion two seasons ago and GW won the section in 2014. The Black Eagles own a 40-31 combined run advantage.

In three of the six sectional meetings, the winning team scored double-digit runs.

Their only meeting this season resulted in a relatively ho-hum 5-3 South Charleston victory.

Four of the Patriots' seniors - catcher Connor Moffatt, shortstop Garrett Vogelbach, third baseman Clayton Anderson and first baseman/pitcher Jeff Wong - started as sophomores.

In fact, Campbell still teaches at George Washington and maintains a good relationship with the Patriots' players.

Perhaps the relationship with his wife's father also has improved.

"I'm just enjoying what I'm doing now ... working with Kenny and Tommy (Riggan) and it's been refreshing not having to deal with all of those head coaching responsibilities," Campbell said.

GW, which is seventh in Class AAA in the Daily Mail Prep Baseball Poll, has losses to Logan, Hurricane (twice) and St. Albans among the six of eight it dropped to close the regular season.

Leading the way for the Patriots is Moffatt, who is batting .365 with 17 RBI. Junior Druw Bowen, who was a two-year starter for his father, Joe Craffey, at Valley before transferring, is hitting .364. George Washington is batting just .284 as a team with only six starters above .300.

Coach Lou Cassis' Patriots put their faith in the pitching staff, which is led by Wong. He is 5-1 with a 1.89 earned run average. Two of his victories have come against Nitro.

Sixth-ranked South Charleston (24-6) has hardly missed a beat, batting .345 and has a pitching staff that owns a 1.95 ERA.

Junior shortstop Trevor Sampson has spearheaded the hard-hitting Black Eagles, hitting safely in 15 of the last 16 games, during which he has a .622 average (28 for 45). He is batting .465 this season, striking out just 10 times and walking 23 in 115 plate appearances.

Guiding the pitchers is savvy right-handed junior Jacob Marler, who has a 7-2 record and a 1.85 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings.

The second game is scheduled for Tuesday at GW's Floyd B. Wilcox Field.

The winner of this series visits Section 4 champion and fourth-ranked Ripley in the regional semifinal on May 25.

***

NITRO WILL need a win at Logan on Monday to survive Region 4, Section 2 for the first time since reaching the Class AAA state title game in 2012.

Logan (23-5), the state's fifth-ranked big-school team, ended St. Albans' season with a 16-1 victory on Saturday at Hatfield Island's Roger E. Gertz Field.

Nitro (19-9) fell in the first game of the double-elimination series 4-1 to Logan before rebounding with a 6-1 verdict against the Red Dragons. Coach Steve Pritchard's Wildcats opened the tournament with freshman pitcher Levi Kelly, who suffered his second loss of the season but threw just 61 pitches in four innings. He could return for Monday's game, as could Logan senior Zach Minnick, who held Nitro to one unearned run on Thursday.

***

DESPITE NOT not getting out of the section for the second consecutive year, Winfield has held its own since moving up to Class AAA in 2009.

The Generals, whose residence in Region 4 doesn't provide much of a breather, was in a three-team section in 2009 and 2010, with Hurricane and Lincoln County before Section 1 went with just two teams - the Generals and Point Pleasant. Winfield was sectional champion in 2010 under coach Jimmy Tribble and 2012 and 2013 with current coach Will Isaacs. In their two most-recent sectional championships, the Generals reached the regional final, only to fall to Nitro.

***

POCA AND seventh-ranked Sissonville begin their Class AA Region 4, Section 2 tournament at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at Sissonville.

The Indians are expected to send undefeated senior J.R. Stricklen (7-0) to the mound, while Poca's probable starter is George Washington transfer Austin Henrich, whose 3.39 ERA leads the Dots (9-17).

In Section 1, Herbert Hoover will try to end Clay County's season when they meet at 6 p.m. Monday at Jeff Holliday Field. A Hoover victory sends the Huskies to the regional semifinal on May 26 at the winner of the Poca-Sissonville sectional.

***

BUFFALO AND Charleston Catholic will begin their best-of-three series at 5 p.m. on Monday after each team handed host St. Joseph a loss in the Class A Region 4, Section 4 tournament.

The probable pitchers are Beau Whittington for seventh-ranked Buffalo and Sam McKown for No. 6 Charleston Catholic.

The Section 4 champion will host the winner of Section 3 on May 25 in the regional semifinal.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstevens@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4837. Follow him on Twitter @richdailymail.

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Wu's win, tennis title race highlight first day of state tourney http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519506 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519506 Thu, 14 May 2015 23:27:03 -0400 By Chuck McGill CHARLESTON, W.Va. - As the final shot sailed long, Morgantown's Steven Wu dropped his racquet on Court 5 and pumped his left fist. His contingent of boisterous well-wishers, grouped together on the other side of the fence, roared in delight.

There were 111 combined matches played Thursday at the two state tennis tournament sites - Class AAA at the Schoenbaum Courts in Kanawha City and Class AA/A at the Charleston Catholic Athletic Facility - on the first day of the three-day event. Wu's 9-8 (7-4) win against George Washington's Thomas McIntosh at No. 1 singles was the only match that needed to be extended to a winner-take-all tiebreaker. One might have to excuse Wu's reaction.

"I'm usually pretty stoic," the Mohigans senior said. "That's usually not me, to be quite honest."

Wu erased a 7-4 deficit and then broke McIntosh's serve at 8-7 to force the tiebreaker. It was tied 4-4 in the tiebreaker before Wu rattled off three consecutive points to advance to Friday's Class AAA semifinals at No. 1 singles. His prize: Huntington's Hunter Tubert, the three-time defending champion at No. 1 singles who happens to be undefeated during his high school career.

"I want Hunter," Wu said. "I love playing the best players. He might be one of the greatest of all time. He might be the greatest of all-time. I love it. Why would you not get excited playing for that?"

Wu lost to Tubert, 8-3, in a regular-season match last month.

"After the match he had his dad take a picture of the two of them and the score," Morgantown coach Dan Martinelli said. "He wants to play. He'd be glad to play him every match because of his love for tennis."

Wu's come-from-behind win was only one highlight from the first day of the state tournament, which was played under optimal temperatures and clear skies. Results rolled in steadily and quickly once play began at 8 a.m.

Nitro's Shane Dempsey, the team's only boys representative in the Class AAA field, battled elbow soreness but collected one point for the Wildcats before bowing out. The left-handed senior eliminated Princeton's Adam Anderson, 8-0, before Dempsey fell victim to Martinsburg's Carter Davis in the quarterfinals, 8-1.

Dempsey, who has been accepted to Marshall University but will entertain the idea of playing Division II tennis if the opportunity arises, made back-to-back state tournament appearances.

"I see the potential and I definitely regret not playing as much," he said between matches.

An ankle injury sidelined Dempsey as a sophomore, and he never developed into a year-round player.

"Ability-wise, he doesn't play a whole lot in the offseason," said his coach at Nitro, Jane Harrison. "He's a great tennis player. I think he can play at the Division II level right now."

Davis will face Parkersburg's Alexander D'Costa in the other No. 1 singles semifinal. The winner will play Tubert or Wu in Saturday's championship.

There are no surprises in the girls semifinal. Morgantown's Abby Rosiello, who lost in last year's No. 1 singles final to four-time champ Cassie Mercer of Huntington, won 16 of 17 games and had little trouble with Hurricane senior Kayla McKnight (8-1). The Mohigans, along with Hurricane, Huntington, Parkersburg and George Washington, are all in the hunt for the Class AAA girls title after the first day.

Hurricane was buoyed by junior Lindsay Goff, who won all 24 of her games played Thursday in No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles. The Redskins also received a critical point from freshman Lauren Graham, who won 8-5 in a head-to-head matchup with George Washington's Sarah Moses at No. 3 singles. Hurricane and GW will meet twice again Friday - in No. 4 singles at No. 3 doubles - with valuable team points on the line.

Charleston Catholic's boys turned in a perfect day at its home facility and lead the boys field in team points heading into Friday's matches.

Irish No. 1 singles player Andrew Jones breezed into the semifinals with wins of 8-1 and 8-0. No. 2 singles player Joe Kelly won 8-0 and 8-4 to reach the semifinals, where he'll face Fairmont Senior's Blake Hoke in Friday's semifinals. Jones and Kelly teamed for another point at No. 1 doubles, where they beat Independence, 8-0.

Charleston Catholic's girls also got off to a strong start. Although Joy Justice lost at No. 1 singles to Bluefield's Zoe Nicewander, Sarah Fox picked up a pair of wins at No. 2 singles and Fox helped the Irish to another point at No. 1 doubles.

Friday's matches shift from 8-game pro sets to best-of-three standard sets. Play begins at 8 a.m. at both sites, with No. 1 doubles quarterfinal matches the first to go on. There will be 76 matches at both sites as the field is whittled down to only the championship matches, setting the stage for 28 finals to be played Saturday.

Wu doesn't know if he'll be around for that, but he'll enjoy himself whether Friday's singles match is his last or not.

"I just go out and have fun," Wu said. "Hunter is an amazing player. It's important to finish strong. The last thing you remember is very important.

"It's a nice cherry on top, me playing Hunter in the semifinals."

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Capital's Kinder overcomes adversity to reach state tennis tourney http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519507 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519507 Thu, 14 May 2015 23:25:19 -0400 By Chuck McGill There are high school tennis players who will measure his or her success by what happens during the three-day state tournament. There are others who revel in reaching the destination, but find more meaning in the journey.

Capital senior and No. 2 girls singles player Jill Kinder is planted firmly into the latter camp. She was the Cougars' only girls tennis representative as Class AAA play began Thursday at the Schoenbaum Courts in Kanawha City, and not only did she not collect any points for her school, she didn't even win a game against Hurricane's Lindsay Goff.

But in qualifying for the 12-player draw at No. 2 singles, Kinder's final high school tennis match was where she always wanted it to be.

"It was about making it to the state tournament, especially because I thought I was going to have another chance at it last year," she said. "I played No. 1 singles my sophomore year and I went from playing No. 4 singles as a freshman playing with a bunch of seniors to being thrown to the wolves. I wanted to take my sophomore year, get experience, and go to states as a junior and senior."

Kinder's plans were derailed.

In a travel team volleyball match in Columbus on Feb. 15, 2014, Kinder jumped for a block at the net and came down on an opponents' foot. She sustained a subtalar dislocation to her left ankle, a rare injury that accounts for approximately one percent of dislocations. The injury automatically wiped out her junior tennis season.

"When I blew out my ankle I knew I wasn't going to go to states as a junior," she said, " so senior year needed to be my year."

She stared at more adversity during last week's Region 3 tournament. Kinder held a 7-3 lead on Ripley's Brooke King and needed only to close out the match to guarantee a spot in the state tournament. King won the final six games and took the match, 9-7, to send Kinder to the consolation bracket to face Greenbrier East's Katie Barnes. The winner would receive one of three berths to states at Region 3 No. 2 singles.

Kinder bounced back on a hot afternoon to defeat Barnes, 8-5, and prolonged her high school career by one more match.

"I knew I had to give it a shot," Kinder said. "Just get out there and try your best."

Goff made quick work of Kinder on Thursday, an 8-0 decision that sent Goff to the No. 2 singles quarterfinals. Goff won again there, 8-0, to advance to Friday's semifinals against Morgantown's Lexie Rosiello.

Kinder played No. 4 singles and No. 3 doubles as a freshman, but lost to George Washington in both regional final matches that would've qualified her to states. She ran into GW's Kirsten White at No. 1 singles as a sophomore. White cruised to this year's No. 1 singles semifinals with a pair of 8-0 wins Thursday.

The state tournament is home to West Virginia's best players, so Kinder knew what she bargained for by working so hard to return from injury and reach her goal.

"I kind of accepted my fate," she said. "I knew what was going to happen."

It didn't matter. It was always about the journey.

"I just knew that I wanted to get stronger and I knew I wanted to win, to come back and be successful," said Kinder, who is headed to West Virginia University to major in biomedical engineering. "When I first got hurt I thought it was the end of the line.

"It's just surreal actually being here, being with all these tennis players, being with people who are good," she added. "It was surreal being here and achieving the goal."

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Seniors' belief helps Sissonville softball to regional title game http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519508 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519508 Thu, 14 May 2015 23:23:43 -0400

By CHRIS HUMPHREY

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Emotions run high when players and teams are faced with the fact that their seasons and careers could be ended with a loss in the postseason.

Sissonville and Herbert Hoover battled back and forth in a tightly contest softball game Thursday, with numerous seniors on both dugouts wanting to keep playing and possibly wrap their careers up a state championship.

Sissonville advanced in the Class AA Region 4 tournament with a 7-3 win against the visiting Huskies in a game of swings.

Alexee Haynes drove in two runs on an RBI triple, and she later scored on an overthrown ball as the Indians put together a fifth-inning rally. Sissonville (25-5) held Herbert Hoover off the board the remainder of the game after relieving starter Kendal Perkins, who departed with the bases loaded in the fifth.

After Karli Pinkerton grounded out to Zoey Carte at shortstop to begin the bottom of the first, Kendal Linville and Haynes reached on errors, followed by a full-count walk to Taylor Legg before Taylor Casto cleared the bases to give Sissonville a 3-0 lead. Reagan Johnson struck out to end the rally for the Indians.

Herbert Hoover benefited from more Sissonville errors with a three-run rally of its own in the top of the fourth, seeing Carte start the inning with a hit-by-pitch to get on base and Kati Angle reaching on a error before Rager, Kayla Seafler and Madison Bowles each picked up an RBI in the inning.

Although the Indians got discouraged at several points throughout the game, Sissonville coach Niki Gross credits the team's momentum in Thursday's win.

"This is really a truly exciting game for these girls. We wanted it for these seniors going out," she said. "We got our bats going hot in the beginning and they came back and tied it up. We just had to keep the momentum going. We talked to the girls several times and they shut down there when the game got tied up. They kept the momentum going throughout and never gave up. They believed in themselves and here we are today."

After the fifth inning triple by Haynes, Johnson added Sissonville's seventh run on an RBI single.

Herbert Hoover coach Missy Smith admitted the matchup against a good team like Sissonville is a challenge.

"We didn't come up with a hit when we needed it with runners in scoring position," Smith said as emotion filled her voice following the loss. "When you're playing a good team, anytime they give you an opening you have to take it. We capitalize on their mistakes and they capitalize on ours."

With three players set to graduate, winning Thursday against Hoover was a priority. The drive to win against the state champion motivated the team, especially the seniors.

"We had a big talk. If you don't win today, we're done. That drove my three seniors," Gross said. "They have been with me all four years. So they wanted this bad. They believed in themselves. They never gave up. I couldn't be more proud of them and the way we played today."

Although Gross is confident in her team, she knows the road to the state championship game won't be easy. Next week, the Indians will take on Chapmanville - a team that has challenged Sissonville in the past.

"We just have to keep going. We have to keep practicing like we're doing," Gross said. "We have to keep hitting the ball really well and putting pressure on the defense of the team we play. We went up to their place and they crushed us 9-1, they came here and we shut them out 6-0.

"They had the same pitcher, but we had a different pitcher each game. The pitchers did great. We hit the ball really well. All that coming together, these girls never give up. They believe in themselves and that drive has kept them going throughout this season."

Sissonville and Chapmanville will play for the Class AAA Region 4 championship next Thursday.

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Capital's Slater takes aim at pole vault record http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519509 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519509 Thu, 14 May 2015 23:22:23 -0400 By Michael Dailey CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The good news for West Virginia pole vaulters is that Capital High junior Tristan Slater can be beaten.

The bad news is that the best shot at beating him was when he was a sixth grader in middle school.

"It was just something I wanted to try to have fun and I ended up falling in love with it and now I can't give it up," said Slater of his vaulting start. "I started off as one of the worst pole vaulters ever, but my love for the sport just made me want to get better and better, so I just kept working."

That work has paid off for Slater, who won the pole vault state championship as a freshman and sophomore with winning jumps of 14-6.

And Slater doesn't show any signs of slowing down this season.

Slater easily qualified for his third state meet with a winning jump of 16 feet Thursday evening in the Class AAA Region 3 meet at University of Charleston Stadium. Slater narrowly failed on three attempts at a state-best 17-1 in an effort to break the 20-year old record of 17 feet set by Parkersburg's Casey Freed in 1995.

"I do want that really bad," said Slater of the state record. "But that's not why I still vault. I still vault because I really love the sport. Even when I have a bad day, I just try to be happy and have fun doing what I really love. I think I'll get it this summer because I won't have to worry about any other events or worry about school and I'll be able to just focus purely on the pole vault."

Slater will be the favorite in the vault in next weekend's state meet with a state best jump of 16-7 this season. That jump is more than two-and-a-half feet higher than the next jumper and is a direct result of increased speed this season.

"He has so much more speed this year," said Capital coach Willie Ruffin. "His goal is pretty high and he's really focused on where he wants to go. I think he may get it next week. He's pretty driven and determined. He's not satisfied with where he is right now and I know he's going to work hard."

Slater's Thursday evening success wasn't limited to the pole vault, as he qualified for the state meet in the long jump, 100 meter run. The Cougars' 4x100-meter relay team, for which Slater runs the anchor leg, failed to qualify.

Slater finished second in the long jump with a jump of 20-4 in the first time he participated in the event this season.

Slater long jumped last year, but was injured before the regional meet.

It's the first season that he's participated in the 100-meter dash on a full-time basis.

"I felt real rusty and there's a lot I need to learn, but it's more like a second hobby for me like sprinting is," said Slater of the long jump. "I do those because they help in different fields. The long jump and pole vault is all about cadence with my steps and just keeps getting faster and faster. The sprints are all about explosiveness and you need explosiveness at the end of your pole vault run, so it all ties together."

The pole vault season won't end for Slater after next weekend as the Canadian born vaulter will represent Canada in the 2015 Pan American Junior Championships this August in Edmonton, Alberta.

"I'm really excited about jumping for Canada in my home country," said Slater, who moved to the United States when he was 1. "I feel very confident. I know with hard work and dedication, I can do great things."

Not all of the news was good for Capital on Thursday. One of the state's top distance runners, senior Peyton Panger was injured in last week's MSAC Conference meet. Panger, a West Virginia University signee, suffered a right hamstring injury that ended her season.

"It's very disappointing and pretty hard to take, especially since I've had her for four years," said Ruffin. "She'll bounce back though. It's kind of personal and it's emotional for a lot of people around the city. They've looked forward to watching her participate since she's been in middle school, so it's really disappointing."

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Logan basketball coach Mark Hatcher resigns http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519511 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519511 Thu, 14 May 2015 23:20:48 -0400 By Rich Stevens CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Logan High School boys basketball coach Mark Hatcher said he "never thought this day would ever come."

The 44-year-old Hatcher, who won state titles in Class AA and Class AAA in his 15 seasons with the Wildcats, has coached his final season with the storied program.

"It's been a fantastic ride," said Hatcher, who leaves with a career record of 236-138. "The first year I wasn't ready for it. I thought I was, but I wasn't."

Hatcher, a 1989 graduate of Logan and 2003 graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan, has accepted a position with a medical supplies distributor, which made him an offer he "couldn't refuse."

Hatcher was hired to replace Tim Murphy in August 2000 and finished 4-18 in his first season, 10 more losses than he averaged in the following 14 seasons.

Hatcher said the team was emotionally drained after one of its better players, Steve Claycomb, was killed in a car accident during Thanksgiving break that first year.

The Wildcats won their first two games of the season and then struggled through a 16-game losing streak.

"That was tough," said Hatcher, referring not to the losses on the court.

Logan rebounded the next season to finish 15-9 after losing by five points to No. 1 South Charleston in the regional championship game.

The ensuing seasons resulted in the rebuilding of a program with a celebrated history that included legendary coach Willie Akers, for whom the Logan Fieldhouse arena is named.

Logan's enrollment fell prior to the 2003 academic year, dropping the athletic programs to Class AA. The Wildcats reached the state tournament quarterfinals, finishing 17-9. The next season, Logan was a state champion for the first time under Hatcher.

"When we went to double-A, it really gave us a spark," he said. "The crowds, rivalries ... it brought back the glory days of the old Logan-Williamson and Logan-Huntington games when there were 4,000 people at games."

Logan followed with three more trips to the state tourney with two semifinal appearances and a runner-up finish in 2007.

It was back to Class AAA in 2009, where Logan has resided since. The Wildcats won the 2010 triple-A crown, led by that season's Evans Award winner and former Poca star Noah Cottrill.

Two years later Hatcher was diagnosed with kidney cancer, and although he's in remission, he said it forced him to evaluate his priorities.

"It opened my eyes a little bit," Hatcher said. "Basketball and high school sports are extremely important, the most important thing in my life. But, then I thought I wanted to sit back and spend more time with my family."

The position is expected to be posted within the next two weeks.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstevens@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4837. Follow him on Twitter @richdailymail

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Hebb's hitting, Sargent's defense lead Hurricane to softball win http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519512 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519512 Thu, 14 May 2015 23:20:01 -0400 By Derek Taylor HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A change in Hurricane's standard batting order certainly agreed with junior Maddie Hebb on Thursday, as she went 3 for 4 with a home run and a triple while senior shortstop Cassi Sargent and the Redskins played sterling defense in lifting them to a 5-0 win over Spring Valley in a Class AAA Region 4 softball semifinal.

"That's the best defense we've played all year," Hurricane coach Josh Caldwell said. "We left some runs out there and it could have been a blowout, but at the same time we made some really good plays in the field that kept it from being close."

Sargent's heroics began in the third inning with Hurricane leading 1-0. Timberwolves left fielder Rachel Gwilliams led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice from No. 9 hitter Mackenzie Acker. Leadoff hitter Brooke Jackson then ripped a line drive back up the middle that Sargent leapt with full extention of her body to snag in the air, keeping Gwilliams from scoring. Winning pitcher Courtney Rogers then got Karlie Alderman to ground out to second to end the inning.

Two innings later when Haley Caldwell led off with a single, Sargent again made a diving grab to catch a line drive. This time, she recovered quickly enough to double up Caldwell at first, and one pitch later Rogers was again out of the inning.

"I don't even know what happened. You get into this kind of trance thing. I didn't even realize I was diving on that first double play," Sargent said. "Before I knew it, I was throwing the ball. I'd never done that before. I would always watch it as it happened. It was something new for me."

The first of two double plays turned by Sargent followed a three-run top of the fourth for Hurricane (32-2) that was highlighted by a two-run homer from sophomore right fielder Paige Scruggs.

"It just goes to show you how good she is," Caldwell said of Sargent. "She's just a phenomenal shortstop. She doesn't make a couple of those plays and who knows what the score is."

It turned out to be the theme of the game: Hurricane putting down potential threat after potential threat with a big defensive play until the Redskins could scratch out enough runs to win.

"She had a hell of a game," Spring Valley (16-9) coach Alison Hatfield said of Sargent's performance.

"Everything that was hit at her she got a glove on," Hatfield said. "It might not have been a playable ball for her, but she kept it in (the infield). She was laying out, and she was going as hard as she could. The center fielder, too, had a heck of a catch."

Hatfield's reference was to freshman Jayme Bailey's head-first diving grab to rob Caldwell of another hit, in the sixth inning.

Hebb, meanwhile, moved up from the No. 7 spot in the order to No. 6 and kept right on going as the Redskins' late-season firestarter. All three of her hits made her the first baserunner of the inning for Hurricane.

"It was a little bit of an adjustment, but we're solid all the way through the lineup," Hebb said. "I could care less if I was batting first or last. It's a little change, but I think we're going to be able get hits when we need it from this order."

The change also saw sophomore Katie Adams move up one spot to No. 7 in the order while former No. 6 hitter Emily Davis moved down to No. 8. Davis was 2 for 3 with an RBI.

Sargent and fellow senior Madison Casto also had multi-hit games, each going 2 for 4. Casto doubled and scored in the fourth inning.

Gwilliams was 2 for 3 for Spring Valley.

Hurricane advances to the Region 4 championship game next Thursday at home. The Redskins will play Logan, a 7-2 winner over Point Pleasant in the other Region 4 semi Thursday.

Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at derek.taylor@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter at @ItsreallyDT.

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Logan tops Nitro in baseball sectional opener http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519514 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519514 Thu, 14 May 2015 23:17:35 -0400 By Rich Stevens CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Logan wasted little time in giving pitcher Zach Minnick a lead.

The senior wasted no time in making the most of it.

The visiting Wildcats scored three runs in the first inning behind a Chase Preston single and a Jared Shawver two-run single and Minnick surrendered only an unearned run as Logan earned a 4-1 victory in the opening game of the Class AAA Region 4, Section 2 tournamnent on Thursday night at Brandon Matthew Sneed Field.

The much-anticipated matchup of two of the state's ballyhooed pitchers never materialized after Logan (22-5) tagged Nitro freshman and LSU commitment Levi Kelly behind Shawver's two-out hit.

Minnick was sharp, striking out 10 and not issuing a walk until his 89th pitch, which came in the sixth inning. His second was in the seventh, but he followed that by getting Eddie Flores to pop out on one pitch and Andrew Stone to strike out on four.

"(The lead) made me be more aggressive early in the count," said Minnick, who improved his record to 7-1, season strikeout total to 95 in 52 innings and lowered his earned run average to 0.54. "Later in the count I can rely more on the slider if I want to."

It seemed Kelly, the LSU commitment, was getting his feet under him with a three-pitch strikeout of No. 5 hitter Chase Burnette for the second out of the first, but Shawver waited out two balls before his single scored Minnick - who was hit by a pitch - and Preston.

"Levi's velocity was down a little bit in the first inning, he got the ball up, and good teams make you pay," said Nitro coach Steve Pritchard, whose team must win at St. Albans on Friday to stay alive in the double-elimination tournament. "There is no woe is me, we're not mad. They got three more runs than we did and we get to tee it back up (Friday)."

Kelly pitched just four innings, leaving the game trailing 4-0 and Nitro (19-8) getting just a runner on first in each of the second, third and fourth innings. He gave up a run in the third, but faced only 10 batters during that time.

Pritchard's plan was to have Kelly available to return against St. Albans if needed.

"He was right close to 70 pitches and we didn't even get a guy to second yet," Pritchard said. "Scoring four runs didn't seem likely. We didn't give up, but the other side of it is, are we just completing innings with him or are we trying to win the tournament?"

Flores relieved and an error and two walks loaded the bases in the fifth, but he struck out Connor Akers to end the threat. He faced just six batters in the sixth and seventh, getting help in the seventh when Minnick doubled, but was thrown out at third when he tried to advance on a wild pitch.

Minnick hit the first batter of the seventh and issued his second walk before retiring the game's final two batters on five pitches.

Logan is off until Saturday when St. Albans is scheduled to visit the Wildcats for the third game of the three-team section.

"We struck out a lot," said Logan coach Kevin Gertz, whose team struck out 12 times. "But, we jumped on them early, took the pressure off us and got the kids excited. They came out, hit the ball good, particularly early."

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstevens@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4837. Follow him on Twitter @richdailymail

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South Charleston advances to softball regional final http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519516 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519516 Thu, 14 May 2015 23:10:29 -0400 By Chris Wade RIPLEY, W.Va. - More often than not, South Charleston softball coach Annette Olenchick has been spot on with her gut decisions throughout her illustrious career, which includes six state softball titles with Sissonville in 13 seasons.

Olenchick's gut call didn't initially pay off Thursday, but pitcher Amanda McDonald and the SC offense helped the Black Eagles to a 9-5 win at Ripley in a Class AAA Region 3 softball semifinal,

With the victory, the Black Eagles won their 11th consecutive game to improve to 25-9 and will host Shady Spring in the regional final next Thursday, with the winner advancing to the state tournament.

"It feels great and I know it feels awesome for them," Olenchick said. "They were real confident coming in and we have been playing good the last couple weeks. We are one win away (state tournament) and it would be great for me to take this group of kids."

Olenchick decided to start No. 2 pitcher Kiersten Landers over McDonald, but the freshman only recorded two outs and gave up three runs to Ripley before being relieved by SC's junior ace.

McDonald got out of the first inning without any further damage, and held the Vikings (18-13) in check during her 6 1/3 innings of work to get the win. She allowed four hits and two runs, both solo home runs by Ripley second baseman Paige Swisher.

"We tried to throw them off and start Kiersten just to give them a different look," Olenchick said. "They had seen Amanda twice. We started Kiersten 10 games but a freshman, you still have those nerves.

"Amanda came right in there and shut them down, really. They have good hitters and we knew that coming in. Her pitches were moving and she was hitting her spots."

Despite being put in a tough spot, McDonald wasn't phased by the situation.

"I knew I just needed to shut it down because this was it," McDonald said. "I have been put in situations like that before and it is nerve-wracking, but I knew I had a strong defense behind me and we would be good."

While McDonald did a solid job of coming in of relief of Landers and limiting the Vikings, the SC offense was clicking on all cylinders, especially early on, scoring in the first three innings.

The big inning came in the second when the Black Eagles, down 3-1, plated five runs to take the lead they wouldn't relinquish. The big blows came with two outs when Olivia Orcutt-Lazo and Jazmine Martin both singled in two runs for SC.

Orcutt-Lazo celebrated her birthday by delivering three RBI against Ripley.

"It was a great birthday present and it is so exciting," Orcutt-Lazo said. "I am so excited right now. Today was awesome and it is so unbelievable. We deserve this."

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Roundup: Buffalo softball advances to regional title game http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519517 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519517 Thu, 14 May 2015 23:09:26 -0400

From staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Buffalo pitcher Ali Burdette struck out nine and did not surrender a hit as the Bison beat Wahama 15-0 to advance to the Class A Region 4 championship game.

Catcher Chase Christy went 2 for 2 with a double and three RBI, while Katlynn Rasnake went 2 for 3, also with a double and three RBI for Buffalo (28-6). The loss drops Wahama to 12-18 on the season.

In prep baseball Thursday:

South Charleston 11, Parkersburg 1 - The Black Eagles (24-6) had built a 7-1 lead by the end of the second inning and never looked back, winning in convincing fashion over the visiting Big Reds (8-15). South Charleston's Trevor Sampson went 3 for 4 with a double, two triples and five RBI, while Michael Lore went 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI. Black Eagle hurler Tyler Abbott struck out six on his way to earning the win.

Herbert Hoover 7, Nicholas County 4 - The Huskies (14-14) were able to survive a four-run fifth inning to down the Grizzlies in a AA Region IV Section 1 game. Herbert Hoover's Jake Grayam doubled and drove in four RBI, while Kody McGraw and Joel Ridenour each doubled and added an RBI, respectively. For Nicholas County (16-9), Matt Bennett doubled and had three RBI in the loss.

Point Pleasant 7, Winfield 2 - With the contest tied at 2-2, the Big Blacks (14-16) opened up a five-run sixth inning to pull away from the Generals to win AAA Region IV Section 1. Point Pleasant's Matt Richardson tripled and knocked in three RBI, while Chris Lush went 2 for 2. In the loss, Winfield's Bryan Bosley homered and Aaron Perry went 2 for 2 with a double.

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Class AAA track and field regionals set for Thursday http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519629 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150514/DM03/150519629 Thu, 14 May 2015 00:01:00 -0400

By NICK BROCKMAN

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Hurricane stands atop the Class AAA girls state track and field standings, but Putnam County rival Winfield figures to challenge the Redskins at today's Region 4 Championship, to be held at Cabell Midland.

The Redskins enter as defending state champions, currently ranked No. 1 by runwv.com, with Winfield listed second. The Generals, though, edged Hurricane by seven points at the Gazette/Friends of Coal Relays and a point at the Mountain State Athletic Conference Championships.

"We've spent a good part of the season making sure we have people where we want them heading into regionals," Hurricane coach Jason Henley said. "Now, it's just time to go out there and execute the game plan.

"It's going to take a pretty big effort on the girls side with us going head-to-head with Winfield at regional and of course next week at state."

Seniors Abby Watson (throwing events), Audrey Barber (hurdles, long jump) and Lauren London (pole vault, long jump) return as some of the team's top contributors in individual events, with one pleasant surprise in sophomore Anna Gordon, who ranks first statewide in the 400-meter run and 800.

"I thought she would have a good year in the 400," Henley said, "but she's just so good right now in the 400 and the 800, and she's actually contributing to our 4x200, which is something totally new for her."

Winfield will combat Hurricane's top-end talent with depth, as well as its own group of potential All-State athletes.

"We fight to the finish, that's all I know," Generals coach David Bailey said. "I think there's always room for improvement. We work at it all the time."

One area in particular will set the stage for Winfield, Bailey said.

"Our middle distance is big for us, it's a key for us," he said.

Winfield's 4x800 relay team ranks first in the state, with its 4x400 relay second. M.E. Zulauf, Sydney Hancock and Shannon Riley individually list among the state's top 10 in various middle distance events.

The Generals also boast strength in field events. Senior Allie Perry leads the state in pole vault, with teammates Morgan Gray and Shannon Riley tied for fourth. Carly Hinkle and Hannah Cartwright each rank in the top five in high jump.

Other top Winfield athletes competing include distance runner Rachel Englund and sophomore hurdlers/sprinters Mary Lawman and Taryn Napier.

Beyond Winfield and Hurricane, fifth-ranked Huntington and No. 8 St. Albans will also contend for points in the girls team battle.

Senior Anacia Hines, ranked first statewide in the 100, 200 and 100 hurdles, will lead the Red Dragons. Sophomore Rachel Beck will look to advance individually in the 400 and 800.

On the boys side, Hurricane again poses the top threat as the highest-rated team at No. 2 in the state, though Cabell Midland lists fifth, with Winfield eighth and Point Pleasant 10th.

For the Redskins, senior Jared Zickafoose, who is ranked in the 100 (first) and 200 (third) and runs on Hurricane's top-ranked 4x100 and 4x200 relays, has played a large part in the team's success.

With Zickafoose leading Hurricane in sprints, Jake Henley will pace the team in distance events and Brian Hughes in high jump.

At Winfield, senior Christian Smith will look to score points in pole vault, high jump and long jump, as he lists among the state's top 10 in each event.

With Midland coach Chris Parsons' tradition of distance running success, Jason Henley said he never discounts the Knights' chances.

"I've been at this long enough and I respect coach Parsons enough that I know that if Midland is in the hunt, they're going to be right there," he said.

Five Knights runners rank in the top 10 for middle distance and distance events, with Will Sheils (400, 800) and Jeremiah Parlock (800, 1600) ranked in multiple events.

Other teams in attendance at today's Region 4 meet include Lincoln County, Nitro and Spring Valley.

Region 3

A pair of hurdlers and a trio of throwers are expected to lead George Washington's effort at the Region 3 Championship, to be held at the University of Charleston Stadium on Thursday.

Senior Will Walker and sophomore Malika Johnson rank in the top three statewide in individual hurdles events. Meanwhile, three Patriot throwers rank in the state's top 10.

"We talk about doing things the right way technically and running fast at the right time, and everything seems to be moving that way," GW coach Brent Walker said of his standout hurdlers.

Will Walker lists as the No. 1 hurdler in the 300s and second in the 110 hurdles, a year after qualifying for state in both events, as well as third in the 400. Johnson has burst on the scene to provide the Patriots points on the girls side, too, as she's ranked second in the 300 hurdles, third in the 100 and third in long jump.

With Johnson and Will Walker leading the charge in the hurdles, a trio of Patriots expects to dominate throwing events for third-ranked GW.

"I've got every reason to think we can go one, two and three in shot with Nick Peyatte, David Smith and Trevor Patton," Brent Walker said.

Currently, Peyatte and Smith rank one-two in the shot put statewide, with Peyatte 10th in the discus, too.

Capital and Ripley are expected to challenge GW for the boys team title.

Two-time defending state champ Tristan Slater returns in the pole vault. Other top Cougars athletes include senior distance runner Michael Ruhnke, sophomore middle distance runner Geandre Jones and junior hurdler James Knox.

For Ripley, Ridge Dalrymple and Garrett Robertson are each ranked in hurdles, while senior Antonio Jones is expected to qualify in the 400, with junior Zane Griffith in pole vault.

Riverside's Darius Booker, ranked in the 100 (third), 200 (first) and 400 (eighth), is also expected to advance.

In girls competition, Capital senior Peyton Panger will lead the fourth-ranked Cougars.

Panger, a West Virginia University signee, ranks first statewide in both the 1600 and 3200 and third in the 800. Cougars sophomore Haley Snodgrass is tied second statewide in pole vault and teammate Kiaunna Facemyer will look to provide points in the shot put.

Ripley's Laurel Miller, who is ranked second in the state in high jump, is also expected to earn a state berth.

Other teams in attendance at today's Region 3 meet include Greenbrier East, Oak Hill, Princeton, Shady Spring, South Charleston and Woodrow Wilson.

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