With the Class AAA sectional tournament just three weeks away the Logan High School girls’ softball team is making a major statement.
The Lady Cats are not only contending for the state tournament.
They also want to be in the running for the state championship.
Logan, ranked No. 5 in the state, improved to 12-2 on the season with Wednesday evening’s 4-0 win over Nicholas County. The Lady Cats’ winning streak has reached nine games and Logan has outscored its opponents by a staggering 84-1 during the span.
The only run given up by Logan in its 9-0 stretch was on Tuesday night when the Lady Cats won 9-1 at Scott.
So are the Lady Cats on a roll?
That’s a mild understatement.
To use a little bit of spanish lingo, the Lady Cats are en fuego.
Senior pitcher Taylor Norman fired the complete game shutout win last night as she allowed only two hits while striking out eight and walking none. Norman mixed up her pitches well, sizzling the corners with her fastball, keeping Nicholas County hitters off balance with her change up and also baffling the Grizzlies with her nasty tail-away curve ball.
“Taylor had an exceptional curve ball tonight. It was tailing and it was dancing,” Logan coach Randy Robinette said. “That’s the way that she pitches the ball to us at practice. She changed her speed and did a real fine job. We got some work in with our defense, too, and we needed that.”
Senior center fielder Emily Vinson, recently moved from right, led the Logan offense as she was 3-for-3 with a two-run homer. Vinson, hitting out of the No. 7 spot, went yard in the bottom of the second off Nicholas County pitcher Lauren Young to give the Lady Cats a 2-0 lead. It was all the runs the Lady Cats would need.
It was Vinson’s second career home run. She hit a homer last week against Point Pleasant at Chapmanville’s Lady Tigers Invitational tourney.
“It was good to see Vinson break out of her slump. She was a bright spot,” Robinette said. “That helped her and it helped us a lot. We got some production from the bottom of the order. We didn’t get as much production from the top but that will help us become a better ball club. We just weren’t with it today with the hitting. It might have been the cold weather. It wasn’t an inspired performance but 4-0 against a good team, I’ll take that. We’ll work on it and see if we can get a little bit better.”
Antonia Hill, Logan’s left fielder and No. 8 hitter, was 2-for-3, while third baseman Morgan Aguirre was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
Logan had nine hits in the game. Lara Sedlock and Emily Allred, Logan’s DP and No. 9 hitter, added singles.
Joni Tyree had a single and Young reached base safely on an infield single for Nicholas County (11-5). The Grizzlies came into the game having won six out of their last seven games and 11 of 13 since starting out 0-2.
Logan went on top 2-0 in the second as Aguirre doubled off the right center field fence and Vinson homered to left.
The Lady Cats threatened with two runners on base in the fourth but didn’t score again until the fifth when Logan tacked on two more.
During the frame, Sedlock singled and Katie Chryssofos reached base safely on an error. Then it was Aguirre who delivered a sharply hit two-run single up the middle to make it 4-0.
Norman then got out Nicholas County in the top of the sixth and sat down the Grizzlies one, two, three in the seventh to preserve the win.
The Grizzlies only threatened to score once in the fifth as Young singled and stole second with two outs. Norman, though, got DP Kaitlin Tallamy to pop out to short to end the frame.
Logan is scheduled to return to action on Friday at the Best of the Best Tournament at Buffalo. The Lady Cats play University at 4 p.m. and East Fairmont at 6. Then on Saturday, Logan finishes round-robin play at 3 p.m. on Saturday against the same Nicholas County team.
In Tuesday’s win at Scott, Aguirre was the winning pitcher as she allowed just one run and two hits over five innings. She struck out five and walked two.
The game was stopped after five due to the 8-run mercy rule.
Aguirre also led Logan’s bats as she was 2-for-3 with a triple, a single and three RBI.
Norman was 2-for-3 with a double, while Shana Hall and Sedlock each had a double and an RBI. Chrysoffos singled and drove in one run. Rachelle Toppings and Vinson both singled and had one RBI. Hill added a double and one RBI for Logan.
Ally Brown was tagged with the loss within the pitching circle for the Lady Hawks.