SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — One win away from defending their title.
The Wahama softball team booked their place in the Class A Championship with a 7-3 win over the Petersburg Lady Vikings in the winners bracket final Wednesday evening during day one of the WVSSAC State Softball Tournament.
The Lady Falcons (28-2) threatened early in Wednesday’s ballgame, getting a runner on third, but couldn’t advance her home.
Both squads struggled to get any offense going in the first few innings, with the Lady Vikings (19-3) not getting their first hit until the third inning.
The White and Red broke onto the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning, when Emma Knapp hit a triple to bring home Lauren Noble.
Wahama got another run in the fourth when Bailee Bumgarner singled to bring in Knapp.
However, the Lady Vikings powered right back in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three runs of their own to take the lead.
The Lady Falcons made some big mental mistakes in the fifth inning, allowing Petersburg to advance all the way to third base, but the Wahama defense held tough and kept their opponents from adding onto their lead.
The sixth inning was when the tide of the game changed.
The White and Red got started with Kalyn Christian touching home on an error.
Noble propelled her team back into the lead with a single, which allowed Bumgarner, Amber Wolfe and Mikie Lieving to all touch home, giving the Lady Falcons a 6-3 lead.
In the top of the seventh, Knapp took advance of another Petersburg error to put on one more run for Wahama.
The Lady Vikings were only able to get two more runners on base through the last two innings, giving the Lady Falcons the win.
Wahama head coach Chris Noble said he had never seen his team fight so hard to win a game.
“I told them this was far from our best game, but that might have been the best fight that I’ve seen all year long,” he said. “They never gave up and ended up turning things around in our favor.”
Moving into the championship game Thursday, Noble said he wants to see the bats warm up.
“We need to get a few more hits in there,” he said. “We’ll also straighten up our defense a little bit. The bright lights may have gotten us a bit nervous, but we’re doing fine now and we’ll get the bats going tomorrow.”
Both teams put up nine hits in Wednesday’s ballgame.
Leading the White and Red in hits were Lieving, Noble and Bumgarner.
Rounding out the Wahama hitting were Wolfe, Knapp and Christian.
Knapp led her team in runs with two, while Noble led in RBIs with three.
Leading the Lady Vikings in hits was Kaposy with three.
Getting the win in the pitchers circle for the Lady Falcons was Lieving, who allowed nine hits, three runs and two walks while striking out 13 in seven innings pitched.
Before their game against Petersburg, the Lady Falcons had to contend with the Midland Trail Lady Patriots in the opening round.
The White and Red were victorious 5-3, highlighted by Noble and Lieving both scoring solo home runs.
Both teams got seven hits, with Wahama committing two errors.
Leading the Lady Falcons in hits was Wolfe with two.
Rounding out the White and Red hitting were Lieving, Noble, Knapp, Christian and Morgan Christian.
Noble led in runs with two while Kalyn led in RBIs with the same number.
Leading the Lady Patriots in hits were Chezney Skaggs and Madi Campbell with two each.
Lieving also recorded the win here, allowing seven hits, three runs and three walks while striking out 16 in seven innings pitched.
The Lady Falcons await the winner of the Petersburg and St. Marys contest being played earlier Thursday morning. Wahama is slated to start 30 minutes after the loser’s bracket final, approximately somewhere before noon — weather permitting.
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Colton Jeffries can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100