Wheeling Central Catholic completed the triple play of three straight Class A state softball championships and 12th title in program history in a 12-0 shutout over the Lady Yellow Jackets on Thursday afternoon in Vienna.
“I’m very proud of these girls. They played with a lot of heart and passion. We just came up a little short. We will be back next year and stronger,” Moorefield coach Tammie Ayers remarked.
This was an entirely different game than the state tournament opening round contest between these two squads which went nine innings with the Lady Maroon Knights edging Moorefield 5-3.
The Lady Yellow Jackets proved they belonged in the state championship game by fighting through the loser’s bracket with a 15-4 win over Fayetteville and a 2-nil victory against Sherman to setup the rematch.
Having to play these other games took a toll on the pitching allotment entering the championship round with sophomore Hanna Carlson pitching against Wheeling Central Catholic in the first round and the elimination final against Sherman, while junior Rebekah Markwood and freshman Lauren Arbaugh shared duties against Fayetteville and in the championship.
There is a limit of 14 innings for one day and Carlson pitched seven innings against the Lady Tide and was given rest for a potential second championship game as Moorefield needed to win twice to garner the trophy.
There were muddy sections in the outfield as water had been removed from torrential downpour coming on Tuesday night, so navigating to catch or retrieve the ball was a little treacherous.
Wheeling Central Catholic ace pitcher Riley Bennington had 23 strikeouts in the opener against the Lady Yellow Jackets, who still found a way to push the Lady Maroon Knights to the limit.