BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Class AA defending softball state champion Herbert Hoover will take a perfect record into the state tournament next week after beating Bridgeport on Tuesday night 4-0 for the Region 2 championship.
“This feels pretty good,” said Herbert Hoover coach Missy Smith. “It’s always nice to go back to the state tournament. No trip is ever guaranteed, you still have to play and win. We don’t have very many regional championship plaques – so we’ll take that one.”
The Huskies also won Monday’s regional opener in the best of three series 9-1.
Tuesday’s win improved Herbert Hoover to an incredible 30-0 as 18 of those victories have come in shutout fashion.
“We’re not even thinking about that,” Smith said of the unbeaten record. “It doesn’t matter what we’ve done up to this point. Every game is the game and at this point in the year you’re playing all good teams. Nobody cares what your record is – you have to win today.”
The Huskies preserved that 18th shutout despite working through some adversity in the first inning as Presley McGee was pulled after giving up two walks and a single.
Delani Buckner came in and shut the door in the first, ultimately going the distance the rest of the way for the Huskies.
“That’s just the way we are – it’s always ‘next girl up,'” Smith said. “I have faith in both of our pitchers. Today we had a rough start and it’s not the first time we’ve had to make a change because of a rough start or inning. But our girls are always ready to step up.”
McGee finished with a pair of hits and two RBIs for Hoover at the plate.
It’s a Herbert Hoover team that lost three seniors from last year’s title team.
“We lost some power in the lineup, but our girls did everything we asked them to do in the offseason to replace those bats,” Smith said. “They’ve done that so far. We’re hopefully going to amp it up next week.”
The Huskies will open up double-elimination state tournament play on Wednesday, May 23 with a matchup against the Region 1 winner — either Weir or Petersburg — at 9:30 a.m.
“It’s amazing to play in the state tournament,” Smith said. “I’m so happy to take this group of girls, they’re a special group. The thing for us is that we have to play our game. We have to make sure we hit good pitches and play good defense – those are the keys for us.”
Wyoming East and Chapmanville also secured Class AA state tournament spots on Tuesday out of Region 3 and Region 4.
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