SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Three wins away from the ultimate prize.
The Wahama softball team brings a perfect 24-0 record into the Class A State Championship on Tuesday and Wednesday on Craft Field at Little Creek Park in South Charleston.
The Lady Falcons — who defeated Man 2-0 and 11-4 in 10 innings for the Region IV championship — have 14 shut outs on the year, and have outscored opponents 208-to-25.
Pitching all-155 innings of all-24 games for Wahama, Mikie Lieving has struck out 218 batters, walked 30, and hit eight. Just 17 of the 25 runs allowed have been earned, and the WHS sophomore has surrendered just 90 hits this spring.
On offense, Lieving has a team-best 51 hits on the season, leading the way with a .607 batting average, 43 runs scored and 14 stolen bases. Lieving and Amber Wolfe are tied for the team lead with four home runs apiece, while Lieving and Lauren Noble are tied for the most triples at three apiece. Noble leads the Red and White with 17 doubles, as well as 35 runs batted in.
The Lady Falcons have a team-batting average of .371, with 17 home runs, eight triples and 62 doubles. The WHS defense has committed two dozen errors this season, for a team fielding percentage of .962.
The Region IV final was Wahama’s third extra-innings game of the year, with 2-1 10-inning victory over Tug Valley, and a 4-3 eight-inning win over Ripley.
The Lady Falcons match up against Region II champion Petersburg, which defeated Clay-Battelle 4-1 and 8-0 for the regional title.
Petersburg (21-5) enters play with an eight-game winning streak, outscoring opponents 96-11 in that time. Four of the Lady Vikings’ five losses came in the first eight games of the season. PHS was the Class AA runner-up in 2019, and also made the state tournament in 2018. Petersburg’s six seniors are the most among the four teams in the Class A state tournament.
Wahama and Petersburg will play in the second game on Tuesday, starting 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 1.
The opening matchup — starting at 9:30 a.m. — pits Region I champion Ritchie County (21-5) against Region III champion Midland Trail (20-4).
The Lady Rebels defeated Madonna 7-2 and 4-1 for the Region I championship, and have won five games in a row overall. Wahama is the last team to defeat Ritchie County, doing so 6-0 on May 27 in Hartford. WHS also topped RCHS 5-0 on May 7 in Mason County, and 5-0 on May 27 in Ellenboro.
Like Wahama, RCHS also has just three seniors on the team. The Lady Rebels are the only team among the four with a previous state championship, winning Class AA-A in 1992 and Class AA in 2011.
The Lady Patriots topped James Monroe 9-2 and 11-4 to claim their regional title, and have won 17 games in a row since starting the year 3-4. Midland Trail has five seniors on its squad, which has four shut out wins on the year.
The losing teams from Game 1 and Game 2 will meet in Game 3 at 4:30 on Tuesday, with the winner’s bracket final starting 30 minutes after the end.
A 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, the winner of Game 3 will meet the loser of Game 4, with the winner advancing to the championship game at 2 p.m.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.