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Class AA state softball: Sissonville puts Ritchie County on the ropes

VIENNA, W.Va. — Class AA softball favorite Ritchie County had lost only one game all season. But Wednesday it lost another one, along with all-state shortstop Vanessa Tallman.

The senior infielder collided with a baserunner and reportedly sustained a broken jaw during the first inning of a 5-1 loss to Sissonville.

If the Rebels (24-2) intend to capture their first state championship since 2011, they must rally for three wins Thursday without their West Virginia Wesleyan signee.

“We’ll have to try, but it’s going to be tough to replace an all-stater,” said Ritchie County coach Dave Mossor, who was miffed that it took WVSSAC trainers almost 10 minutes to reach the injured Tallman. “I’m extremely upset about it.”

Sissonville (27-5), which won five state championships from 1996 to 2002, looks primed to retake the banner after third baseman Alexee Haynes delivered two big hits.

Her two-out opposite-field single untied a scoreless game in the fourth and showed a crack in Ritchie County ace Kenna DeLancey. Haynes then yanked a double off the fence in left-center to make it 2-0 in the fifth.

Haynes sensed Tallman’s injury sapped some of Ritchie County’s confidence.

“You can tell it slows down the momentum and takes away the energy a little bit,” she said. “We hope she’s OK, because she’s a really good shortstop.”

Before the fifth inning was complete, Taylor Casto singled home two more runs and Andrea Harmon tacked on an RBI single as Sissonville led 5-0.

That was ample support for freshman pitcher Kendal Parkins, who maintained the shutout until DeLancey’s solo homer in the seventh.

“That was just part of the game,” Parkins said. “I felt really relaxed because I had a cushion.

“It feels amazing just being here. If we just keep hitting, I think we’re going to take it.”


Berkeley Springs 10, James Monroe 2: Makena Harrington went 4-for-4 and tossed a four-hitter as the Indians (17-15) stayed alive in an elimination game.

Payton Brown added three hits and three RBIs and Abigail Gillingham had three hits as Berkeley Springs rebounded from Wednesday morning’s opening loss to Ritchie County.

Megan Bailey and Bailee Jackson had one hit each for James Monroe, whose season ended at 21-7.

Ritchie County 9, Berkeley Springs 7: Rachel Haddox had three hits, including the go-ahead double in a four-run fifth for the Rebels (24-1).

Ritchie County, which scored at least nine runs for the 17th time this season, also got three hits from DeLancey and two from outfielder Leah Kuhn.

DeLancey earned the win, striking out five over 3 1/3 innings of relief.

Shyann Farris and Gillingham finished with three hits each for Berkeley Springs (16-15), which led 7-4 after Payton Brown’s two-run double in the fourth.

Sissonville 9, James Monroe 0: Taylor Legg went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Haynes fired a two-hit shutout.

Casto added a two-run single for the Indians.

Jackson and Alexis Carter had the lone singles for James Monroe, which lost 7-3 to Sissonville on April 4.





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