2024 WVSSAC State Softball Tournament preview

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — 12 teams have qualified for the 2024 WVSSAC State Softball Tournament. All games in the double-elimination event will be hosted by Little Creek Park in South Charleston on May 22-23.

Tournament schedule

Class AAA

University is the Class AAA Region I champion (Photo by Teran Malone)

Region I champion University (22-9) vs. Region III champion Greenbrier East (21-9) – Wednesday, 9:45 a.m.

University went undefeated through postseason play (5-0) to qualify for the state tournament for the first time since 1994. UHS defeated Morgantown in two games in the regional round. Sophomore Maddie Campbell leads the Hawks in runs scored (40), home runs (4), RBI (27) and hits (40). Campbell also owns a 3.64 ERA in 20 pitching appearances with a record of 8-4. Sophia Lehosit (3.87 ERA) is 10-5 in 21 appearances.

The Hawks defeated Greenbrier East, 10-7 on April 20. UHS enters the state tournament on a six-game winning streak. They average 7.1 runs per game.

Greenbrier East has qualified for the state tournament for the first time. Like the Hawks, the Spartans are perfect in postseason play (5-0). They defeated George Washington in consecutive games in the regional round. East allows just 3.1 runs per game.

Alanis McClary and Alizabeth Wooding share the team lead in batting average (.429). McClary’s 42 hits and 38 runs scored are tops on the team. Taylor Boswell leads East with 35 RBI and Kayla Bartley had connected for a team-best six home runs.

Washington is the Class AAA Region II champion (Photo by Robert Ovies Sports Photography)

Region II champion Washington (22-6) vs. Region IV champion Cabell Midland (28-5) – Wednesday, 30 minutes after Game 1

The Patriots have qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2021. WHS emerged through a challenging sectional tournament, where they defeated No. 7 Jefferson in walk-off fashion (nine innings) in the decisive game to advance to the regional against Musselman. Washington is 3-0 against teams in the state tournament field, with a pair of victories over Keyser and another against Petersburg.

Gabrielle Bibb leads the Patriots in batting average (.525). She also leads the team in hits (53) and runs scored (42). Carly Constantino leads the team with 34 RBI. Courtney Greenfield is the team’s leader in home runs (4).

Constantino (1.74 ERA) with the Patriots in victories (8), while Carly Crowder has added six victories.

Cabell Midland defeated University, 13-3 in the Mon County Classic (Photo by Teran Malone)

Cabell Midland endured a gauntlet to win Region IV. The Knights’ region included No. 8 Spring Valley, No. 2 Lincoln County and No. 5 Hurricane. Midland defeated LCHS in the decisive game of their sectional tournament with a walk-off home run from Becca Conrad.

The Knights average 9.9 runs per game. Olivia Bell (.529) is the team’s leading hitter and RBI producer (48). Quinn Ballangee leads in home runs (12) and runs scored (47). Ballangee owns an 8-0 pitching record with a 3.02 ERA. Audrea Watts (3.10 ERA) has posted a 10-3 record in the circle.

Washington ended the regular season ranked fourth in the MetroNews Softball Coaches Poll, while Cabell Midland held the top spot for most of the season.

 

Class AA

Region I champion Keyser (25-9) vs. Region III champion Bluefield (17-5) – Wednesday, 9:45 a.m.

Keyser battled back from a one-run loss in their regional opener at Weir to claim the school’s second regional title and first state tournament appearance since 2012.

Taylor Likens leads KHS in batting average (.535), home runs (16), doubles (17), RBI (67) and runs scored (61). Rylee Mangold has racked up seven home runs and 53 RBI.

In 25 pitching appearances, Mangold has posted a 14-3 record with an ERA of 1.24. She has struck out 194 batters in 96 innings of work.

Bluefield enters the state tournament on a six-game winning streak. The Beavers scored 16 runs in their regional round victories over Independence to secure the school’s first regional championship. Bluefield has allowed just 42 runs in 22 games.

Grace Richardson leads BHS in batting average (.469), runs scored (35) and home runs (4). Madison Lawson has driven in a team-best 34 runs. Isabella Smith owns a pitching record of 16-5 and an ERA of 1.73.

The Golden Tornado ended the regular season raked ninth in the MetroNews Softball Coaches Poll, while the Beavers checked in at No. 8.

Herbert Hoover won Class AA Region II Photo by Greg Carey

Region II champion Herbert Hoover (26-3) vs. Region IV champion Winfield (23-9) – Wednesday, 30 minutes after Game 1

The second Class AA matchup on Day 1 is a rematch of the last two Class AA state championship games. Winfield is the lone defending state champion to qualify for the 2024 state tournament.

Herbert Hoover won five consecutive state championships from 2017-2022 (no tournament in 2020). The Huskies have been the top-ranked team in the MetroNews Softball Coaches Poll all season. The Huskies opened their season with a 1-0 win over Winfield. The Generals finished the regular season ranked fourth.

The Huskies are 3-0 against teams in the state tournament field. Hoover has not allowed a run in their five postseason games, outscoring their opponents, 55-0. For the season, the Huskies are allowing 1.3 runs per game.

Laila Varney leads Herbert Hoover in batting average (.470), RBI (29) and home runs (4). Audrey Canterbury and Sadi Wehrle have each scored a team-best 29 runs. In 23 pitching appearances, Varney sports a 19-2 record with an ERA of 0.73.

Winfield struggled early in the season, winning just two of their first nine games. However, the Generals rebounded to close the regular season with 15 victories in their last 16 games.

WHS was tested in the sectional round by Poca. The Dots forced Winfield into a decisive game, where the Generals prevailed 6-5. Winfield would later win a pair of one-run contests in the regional round against No. 3 Chapmanville to defend their regional championship.

Class A

Region I champion St. Marys (28-3) vs. Region III champion Midland Trail (20-7) – Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.

St. Marys head coach Lacy Riggs. Photo by Greg Carey

Last year’s Class A state runners-up from St. Marys have been the wire-to-wire top team in the MetroNews Softball Coaches poll. The Blue Devils won the Little Kanawha Conference Tournament title in April. St. Marys was pushed to a decisive game in their sectional tournament by No. 3 Wheeling Central Catholic, before taking the best-of-three series finale, 9-0.

St. Marys swept a regular season home-and-home series with Region IV champion Buffalo. The Blue Devils have allowed just 37 runs in 31 games.

Zoey Winland leads St. Marys in batting average (.421), runs scored (39), RBI (36) and doubles (15). Cali Masters owns a .414 batting average. In 22 pitching appearances, she has posted an 18-2 record with an ERA of 0.28. Kyleigh Rupert is 9-0 with a 1.26 ERA.

Like St. Marys, Midland Trail won a decisive game in the sectional tournament, winning at James Monroe. The Patriots went 4-0 in sectional play, outscoring their opponents, 31-6.

For the season, Trail is averaging 10 runs per game. Charleigh Ford leads the Patriots in batting average (.667 in 24 games). Nevaeh Hall leads the squad with 34 runs batted in.

Freshman pitcher Madison Rader has posted a 15-6 record in the circle with an ERA of 2.06 in 22 appearances.

Region II champion Petersburg (25-8) vs. Region IV champion Buffalo (18-12) – Wednesday, 30 minutes after Game 1

Petersburg defeated Doddridge County to win Class A Region II (Photo by Teran Malone)

Petersburg was tested by Moorefield in their sectional tournament, but the Vikings prevailed in the decisive game, 3-2. The Vikings later scored 11 runs in each of their regional games against Doddridge County.

Only three of Petersburg’s eight losses have come against Class A West Virginia opponents. Two-thirds of their regular season opponents were in higher classes. PHS opened the year on a six-game winning streak. The Vikings finished in third place at last year’s state tournament.

Pitcher Samantha Colaw is the lone senior on this year’s Petersburg roster.

Buffalo won the Class A Region IV title. Photo by Greg Carey

Buffalo lost their first three games to open the year, two of those were to state tournament qualifiers St. Marys and Winfield. The Bison hit their stride in mid-April and they head to the state tournament with victories in 12 of their last 15 games.

Buffalo went unbeaten in sectional play, outscoring their opponents, 36-1. In the regional round, BHS won back-to-back elimination games against Ravenswood to secure the Region IV title.





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