Class A tournament starts Tuesday
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Three wins far from the ultimate prize.
The Wahama softball team bring a perfect 24-0 record to the Class A State Championship Tuesday and Wednesday at Craft Field in Little Creek Park in South Charleston.
The Lady Falcons – who beat Man 2-0 and 11-4 in 10 innings for the Region IV Championship – have recorded 14 shutouts this year and have beaten their opponents 208-25.
Pitching all 155 innings of Wahama’s 24 games, Mikie Lieving struck out 218 batters, walked 30 and hit eight. Only 17 of the 25 allowed points have been earned, and the WHS sophomore has allowed just 90 hits this spring.
On offense, Lieving has 51 hits, the team’s best this season, leading the way with a 0.607 batting average, 43 runs scored and 14 goals stolen. Lieving and Amber Wolfe are tied for the team lead with four homers each, while Lieving and Lauren Noble are tied for most triples at three apiece. Noble leads the Red and Whites with 17 doubles and 35 RBIs.
The Lady Falcons have a team batting average of .371, with 17 home runs, eight triples and 62 doubles. The WHS defense has made two dozen mistakes this season, for a .962 roster percentage.
The Region IV final was Wahama’s third game of the year in extra innings, with a 2-1 win in 10 innings over Tug Valley and a 4-3 win in eight innings over Ripley.
The Lady Falcons face Region II champion Petersburg, who beat Clay-Battelle 4-1 and 8-0 for the regional title.
Petersburg (21-5) comes into play with an eight-game winning streak, edging opponents 96-11 in that span. Four of the Lady Vikings’ five losses came in the first eight games of the season. PHS was a Class AA finalist in 2019 and also competed in the State Tournament in 2018. Petersburg’s six seniors outnumber the four teams in the Class A State Tournament.
Wahama and Petersburg will play the second game on Tuesday, starting 30 minutes after the end of the first game.
The opener – starting at 9:30 am – pits Region I champion Ritchie County (21-5) against Region III champion Midland Trail (20-4).
The Lady Rebels beat Madonna 7-2, 4-1 for the Region I championship and have won five consecutive games in total. Wahama are the latest team to beat Ritchie County 6-0 on May 27 in Hartford. WHS also outscored the RCHS 5-0 on May 7 in Mason County and 5-0 on May 27 in Ellenboro.
Like Wahama, RCHS only has three seniors on the team. The Lady Rebels are the only team of the four with a previous state championship, winning Class AA-A in 1992 and Class AA in 2011.
The Lady Patriots outscored James Monroe 9-2, 11-4 to win their regional title, and have won 17 straight games since the start of the 3-4 year. Midland Trail has five seniors on its squad, which has four white wins this year.
The losing teams of Game 1 and Game 2 will meet in Game 3 at 4.30am on Tuesday, with the winning group final starting 30 minutes after the end.
On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., the winner of Game 3 will meet the loser of Game 4, with the winner qualifying for the Championship game at 2:00 p.m.
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Members of Wahama’s infield celebrate a double play in the Lady Falcons’ 2-0 win over Man on June 15 in Hartford, W.Va.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.