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Eagles fall in Sectional Semis

May 9, 2018
BY BRUCE CRAWFORD - Staff Writer ( , Wetzel Chronicle

The Eagles' Ashley Tharp struck-out 14 Ritchie County Rebels and didn't walk a batter, but it wasn't quite enough to get past Ritchie County, 5-3, in the Region I, Section II semi-finals May 4 at the Eagles' Hydro Field.

The Lady Rebels opened the first to set out to break a 0-2 record against the top-seeded Magnolia squad this season, scoring two runs on a double by K. Holbrook and a home run by the Rebels hurler Chloe Elliott, who also struck-out nine and walked one from the circle.

Magnolia fought back to score two runs in the bottom of the second to knot the game at 2-2 when Ashlyn Piekarski doubled, Via Anderson singled, and the hot-hitting Kenna Petin singled them both in with the help of a Lady Rebel error.

The Eagles would take the lead in the third when Paige Brill walked and reached second on a passed ball and scored on a Ashley Tharp double for a 3-2 lead after three innings of play.

However, the Lady Rebels answered with three runs in the fifth on three base-hits in the top of the fifth.

The Eagles had a chance to get back into contention, but the Ritchie right-fielder made two spectacular catches to rob a ball going over the fence and a shoe-string catch.

Petin led the way for the second straight game with two-hits, while Tharp and Piekarski each added a double, and Via Anderson a single.

The Eagles finished the season 13-8 will lose seniors Via Anderson, Kenna Petin, Lauren Anderson, Alex Berger, and Katie Hamrick to graduation.


Eagles Soar Past Wildcats, 9-1

The Eagles' Ashley Tharp and Ashlyn Piekarski limited the Wildcats to one run on three hits, striking out six to push Magnolia into the semi-finals of the WVSSAC Class-A Region I, Section II with a 9-1 victory May 3 at the Eagles' Hydro Field.

After setting the Wildcats in order in the top of the first, the Eagles threatened in the opening stanza, with runners at second and third and one out, but a pop-out and a ground-out ended the threat.

Another one-two-three second inning by Tharp and the Lady Eagles didn't come easy, as Tharp gave up a double to Jenna Ferrebee and a ground-out that had Ferrebee at third, Tharp rifled a throw at third to pick-off Ferrebee off.

In the bottom half of the second, Via Anderson drilled a solid single to left center and scooted to second on a Lindsay Whiteman single. Kenna Petin ripped a fastball to the right center field fence for a stand-up RBI double. Lauren Anderson knocked in Whiteman with a ground-out, while Kayna Anderson fielder's-choice brought in another run to give the hosts a 3-0 lead.

The third straight one-two-three innings by Tharp and crew had the Eagles wanting to get more in their home-half.

And, indeed they did, as Ashlyn Piekarski got things roaring with a double. She scored on a solid double by Via Anderson to the right-center field fence, while Petin drove her home on a rocket to right field to push the Lady Eagles' lead to 6-0.

The Chris Neff bunch would not go down quietly, as Hannah Loy led-off with a single, followed by a strikeout and a Blue Eagle error, sent the mighty Ferrebee to the plate and jumped on a Tharp fast-ball, and drilled in to the fence for an RBI double for the Wildcats' only tally of the night.

The Lady Eagles weren't done scoring as Kayna Anderson was hit-by-a-pitch to open the fourth; Paige Brill singled, and Tharp walked to load the bases. Piekarski sent home Kayna and Brill with her second single of the night, while Kyndra Pilant drove home Tharp with a sacrifice fly to extend their lead to 8-1.

Piekarski took over the helm at the mound and struck-out two of the three batters she faced to head into the fifth, needing only a run to get the mercy-rule victory.

Petin picked up her third base hit of the night to get things started, while Lauren Anderson reached on fielders-choice and quickly stole second. Brill knocked in Lauren Anderson with a walk-off single to advance Magnolia to the semi-finals against the Ritchie County Lady Rebels Friday, May 4 at the Eagles' Hydro Field.

Petin paced the Blue Eagles with three hits, including a double, while knocking in two runs. Via Anderson and Piekarski each had two hits that included a RBI double. Brill singled twice, while knocking in the final Eagle tally. Lindsay Whiteman singled, while Kayna Anderson reached base twice, scored a run and knocked in a run.

From the circle, Tharp struck-out four and scattered three hits, getting the win. Piekarski got the Wildcats out one-two-three with two strikeouts.

The Wildcats were paced by senior Jenna Ferrebee, who doubled twice and knocked in a run, and made a nice catch in the outfield to rob Magnolia of an extra base hit. Hannah Loy had the other hit, an infield single. Freshman hurler Erin Mcintrye went the distance, walked two and hit three Magnolia batters.

The Wildcats finished the season as a finalist in the OVAC Class-A. They will lose seniors Katrina Heasley, Jenna Arnett, Caitlin Stewart, Aubrey Neff, Bre Henthorn, Angelina Straight and Jenna Ferrebee to graduation.


Blue Devils Stun Blue Eagles In Sectional, 1-0

The No. 4 seed St. Marys Blue Devils scored a run in the top of the seventh and held on for a 1-0 victory over the No. 1 seed Magnolia Blue Eagles. The softball action occurred May 1 at the Eagles Hydro Field.

Both the Eagles and Blue Devils were in a pitching duel from the start as Magnolia's Ashley Tharp was on her game, striking out the Devils' first six and 11 of the first 12 St. Marys batters. Meanwhile, the Blue Devil hurler, Mahala Nichols limited the Eagles to a Paige Brill single in the first, striking out three in her first three innings of work, as Magnolia flew out four of the nine outs.

In the fourth, Tharp struck out the side, while Nichols gave up her second hit of the night, and two more fly-outs, with the score still at 0-0.

With one out in the fifth, Tharp gave up her first hit of the night, a single to Natalie Payton, while striking out two. Nichols set down a pair on strikes in the bottom half.

In the sixth, St Marys and Magnolia went down one-two-three with Tharp getting one one strikes, while Nichols set down two.

In the top of the seventh, the Devils' Summer Burkhammer opened the seventh with a single. Lara Fetty doubled, while Nichols knocked in Burkhammer for the winning run off a Magnolia error.

Tharp struck-out the final two batters with the bases juiced to give the Eagles a shot.

Ashlyn Piekarski opened the home-half with a double, but was stranded as another fly-out and two strike-outs ended the disappointing Magnolia night.

Tharp took the loss from the circle. She gave up three hits, while striking out 16 and walking two, with Brill leading the way offensively with a pair of singles. Kayna Anderson and Piekarski each belted a double, and Knydra Pilant a single.

The bottom half of the Blue Eagles' line-up gave Nichols eight of her nine strike-outs, with four of the punch-outs coming by looking.

Nichols scattered five hits, while striking out nine and walking none. She also knocked in the winning run.


Magnolia Belts Steubenville Central In Season Finale, 10-3

Seven Magnolia players knocked in runs to win by the score of 10-3 in the team's season-ending finale at Steubenville April 30.

The Eagles' Ashley Tharp was on her game from both the mound and at the plate, striking out seven and pounding out two singles, and knocking in three runs to pace Magnolia.

Kayna Anderson singled three times and knocked in a run, while Paige Brill added two hits and knocked in a run. Ashlyn Piekarski brought home two teammates on a double, while Lindsay Whiteman knocked in one with her double.

In addition, Kenna Petin added an RBI single, while Via Anderson knocked in a run.



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