By Carl Holcomb
Moorefield Examiner –
It was a tale of two cities…two teams’ destiny and fate attained.
Moorefield 10-11 Softball emerged victorious as the state champion, but East Hardy Major Softball came up short in the title game in Barboursville last week.
The state softball tournament in Barboursville featured the best teams from around the state of West Virginia.
Hardy County was represented quite well as both teams from this area finished in the state championship contests in their respective divisions.
Last Monday, Moorefield 10-11 Softball defeated Hedgesville 7-1 to claim the state title and it was the third time in two weeks defeating this same team.
Moorefield cruised to victories throughout the district and state tournaments, outscoring opponents 84-7.
The state tournament scoring onslaught was 57-4.
Moorefield’s pitching, hitting, and defense has been working on all cylinders.
“This is very exciting for the girls to represent Moorefield and the state of West Virginia,” Moorefield 10-11 Softball manager Julie Cook stated.
“They have played a lot of ball together since eight and nine years old, and their goal has always been to win the state tournament when they are 11 and 12 years old and go to the LL World Series, so this is a great step in that direction. I have always encouraged them to dream big, and work hard to achieve that dream. So we keep the bar set pretty high. They have grasped the big picture, and now work very hard on the ‘little’ things, and also the mental aspect of the game. I am absolutely thrilled with their work ethic…They are a truly amazing group to coach and I cherish all of our time together. We are like a big family.”
Amazingly, this championship contest was the first full game for Moorefield with all the previous games ending early due to the mercy-rule.
Moorefield 10-11 Softball State Champions. (pictured left to right): Anna Riggleman, Coach Amy Kile, Lindsey Rinker, Emma Baker, Madison McGregor, Alyssa Vetter, Hanna Carlson, Marissa Ratliff, Coach Scott Carlson, Remi Hinkle, Carmen Ketterman, Macie Zirk, Rebekah Cook, Manager Julie Cook.
“[Moorefield] They haven’t been challenged yet thus far this All-Star season, but I will say that the championship game was a much better game than any to that point. Hedgesville worked very hard and have improved,”Coach Cook noted.
Taking a look at the pitching in the championship game, Moorefield’s Emma Baker silenced Hedgesville with nine strikeouts during a one-hitter outing.
Baker had been sharing time with teammate Bekah Cook with the pitching duties, but Cook didn’t play in the championship due to injury, so she lifted the team on her shoulders.
Moorefield missed the aggressive leadoff hitting of Cook, but showed strength without her doing the little things such as bunting.
Lindsey Rinker and Alyssa Vetter both bunted for singles in the second inning, but were left stranded.
Baker added a single in the third inning.
The first run of the game came in the fourth inning as Hedgesville’s leadoff batter Anu Agbi hit a blooper into right field for a single.
Agbi managed to steal second and third bases before coming home on a fielder’s choice.
Moorefield responded with five runs in their half of the inning.
Rinker hit a leadoff triple as the ball sailed just over the left fielder.
Vetter followed with an RBI single to knot the game at one apiece…