From Staff Reports
FROM STAFF REPORTS
VIENNA, W.Va. — When Petersburg takes to the field today sometime around noon it will be the latest in a season any team in school history has ever played as the Vikings take part in their first-ever West Virginia Class AA State softball tournament when they face James Monroe in the opening round at Jackson Park in Vienna, W.Va.
The Vikings aren’t the only area team to make the trip to the the state tournament with the Moorefield Yellow Jackets getting started in the Class A tournament around the same time as Petersburg when they face Man in the opening round.
Katelyn Keplinger made a diving catch in centerfield to secure Petersburg’s 11-10 win over Robert C. Byrd Friday in the Class AA Region II finals. The Eagles had runners on second and third who would have most likely scored had Keplinger not come up with the catch, but instead Keplinger, who struggled into the fourth as the starting pitcher, was able to redeem herself with the game-winning catch.
Marley Thompson singled home Petersburg’s final two runs in the seventh that proved to be the deciding runs, and had four hits to lead the Vikings’ offense. Keplinger added a double and a single, and Megan Cook collected two RBIs on a single. Brittani Bible gave Petersburg it’s first lead with a home run in the third inning.
James Monroe (23-5) shut out Mount View 15-0 in the AA regional semifinals and then downed Westside 6-2 for the Region 3 crown.
Petersburg (27-6) began the playoffs by beating Berkeley Springs in a best-of-three series in the Class AA Sectionals. It then advanced past Keyser 9-0 during the region semifinals before beating Robert C. Byrd.
Moorefield (25-3) slaughtered South Harrison 9-0 on Thursday for the Class A Region II championship, getting home runs by Brooke Riggleman and Beth Cook and a shutout from Taylor Zuber in order to advance.
The Jackets took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, jumping on South Harrison with a two-run bomb by Riggleman and a solo shot from Cook. Riggleman added a single and had three runs batted in, and Katelyn Wills added a triple and a single. Dani Rogers and Michaela Regester each had a double and a single.
Zuber fanned nine and walked none while allowing three hits.
Man (19-5) is coming off a 16-0 win over Fayetteville in its region finals. Man also beat Sherman (6-5) and Tug Valley (17-0) in the early rounds of the playoffs.
The tournament carries a double-elimination format that both teams will play twice today. One of the four teams in each class will be eliminated today and one early Thursday before the finals are played Thursday afternoon.