VIENNA — It was an old fashioned pitcher’s duel on Wednesday night in the Class AA state softball tournament at Jackson Memorial Park in Vienna.
But it was James Monroe which came out on top, blanking Chapmanville 1-0 in a winner’s bracket game.
The Mavericks’ Lexi Carter tossed the shutout win as James Monroe (22-7) advanced to Thursday afternoon’s Class AA state championship round.
James Monroe is seeking to become the first non-Region 4 team to win the Class AA state softball championship since Ritchie County pulled off the feat in 2011.
In six out of the last seven years, Region 4 teams have brought home the title with Chapmanville winning back-to-back state crowns in 2009 and 2010, Wayne grabbing two straight titles in 2012 and 2013, Herbert Hoover winning it all in 2014 and Sissonville last year.
All of those schools are also members of the Cardinal Conference.
With the loss, Chapmanville (30-6) fell into Thursday morning’s loser’s bracket game against Petersburg (30-5), which ousted Oak Glen, 3-2 in Wednesday’s elimination game.
Since the state tournament is double-elimination, the Lady Tigers had a difficult task on Thursday: win three games to win the state championship.
The Chapmanville-Petersburg winner moves on to play James Monroe on Thursday afternoon in the championship round. Since James Monroe is 2-0 and undefeated in state tourney play, the Mavs would have to be beaten twice.
Carter was virtually unhittable in Wednesday night’s game. She went all seven innings and allowed no runs and just two hits while striking out one and walking none. Carter had a perfect game alive through 4 1/3 innings, until Chapmanville’s Jada Freeman broke it up with a sharply hit one-out single to the opposite field in left.
Freeman’s courtesy runner, Jacy Baxter, was then doubled off after straying too far off second base following Karah Little’s sacrifice bunt.
That ended the inning and James Monroe later came to bat in the bottom of the sixth and was able to produce a run as Bailee Jackson singled, stole second and scored on Meagan Bailey’s RBI bloop single to short right field.
The single run held up.
Chapmanville didn’t go down without a fight, however, as Shian Meeks had a one-out single to left in the seventh but was erased after a fielder’s choice play off the bat of Savannah Wiley. Freeman was safe on an error to put runners at the corners but Little grounded out to end the game.
Sophomore Kenzie McCann was the pitcher of record for Chapmanville.
She pitched a fine game for the Lady Tigers put got no run support. She went six innings and allowed one run on three hits with 11 strikeouts and just one walk.
Nicole White had James Monroe’s first hit in the bottom of the third with an infield single.
Both teams committed two errors in the game.
CRHS had advanced with a 5-1 win over Oak Glen in Wednesday morning’s state tourney opener.
The Lady Tigers dropped to 17-4 in state tourney games since 1999.
VIENNA — The Chapmanville Regional High School softball team survived Thursday morning’s elimination game of the Class AA state tournament with a 4-0 victory over Petersburg at Jackson Memorial Park in Vienna.
The win advanced Chapmanville (31-6) to Thursday afternoon’s Class AA championship round against James Monroe (22-7) in a rematch.
With a 1-0 win over the Lady Tigers under their belts and a 2-0 state tourney record, James Monroe only needed one win in order to take the title. Chapmanville needed to beat the Mavericks twice.
Petersburg saw its season come to a close at 30-6.
Kenzie McCann pitched the win for Chapmanville, tossing seven shutout innings and giving up just four hits with seven strikeouts and no walks.
Shian Meeks gave Chapmanville a boost with a two-run homer in the first inning to put CRHS ahead 2-0.
The Lady Tigers then added two more runs in the third and the four-run lead held.
McCann was 3-for-3 at the plate with a double. Meeks was 2-for-3 and Karah Little and Kara Browning added singles for CRHS.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).