By Greg Bigam
Wheelersburg 5 Piketon 0 CLICK HERE to hear the game podcast
Wheelersburg pitcher Faith Howard walked her Piketon counterpart Cameron Alexander to start the game, on Wednesday afternoon, in Lancaster. Unfortunately, that would be the lone Piketon offensive highlight in the game.
Howard retired the next 20 batters in a row including a first inning double play to take away her walk to Alexander. Piketon sent the minimum 21 batters to the plate and never managed a hit as Howard spun a no hitter.
The Lady Pirate righty struck out 10 Streaks to reach 200 strikeouts on the season.
Alexander pitched well for Piketon. She gave up an unearned run in the fourth and kept Piketon in the game down just 1-0 after 4 innings.
Wheelersburg managed lead off singles in the final three frames, moved the runners over on bunts each time and scored one in the fifth and sixth innings to go up 3-0. The Pirates added two final tallies in the last frame to lead 5-0.
The winners managed five runs on 10 hits. Alexander walked only one Pirate hitter.
Wheelersburg 23-2 advances to the regional championship on Saturday against Sandy Valley. Piketon finishes the year 15-9 with a district championship.
Sandy Valley 10 Westfall 3 CLICK HERE to hear the game podcast
SVC co-player of the year Rebecca Brown opened game two with a bang as the senior led off with a home run to left center against Sandy Valley to put Westfall up quickly 1-0. Westfall added a quick second inning unearned run when Makayla Terry singled and advanced around to score on two Sandy Valley errors.
Brown then went to the mound and performed her Houdini routine. The Mustang pitcher had Cardinal runners in the first inning on second and third with no outs and pitched out of it. Sandy Valley loaded the bases with one out in the third and Brown shut the door. Bases loaded in the fourth and again Brown and her defense kept the Cardinals from crossing the plate.
Meanwhile Cardinal pitcher Makayla Loveless settled in to keep Westfall off the board.
Sandy Valley finally got on the board when clean up hitter Ari Ott banged a home run in the 5th. Westfall answered immediately in the top of the sixth. Holley Webb reached on a one out error, was sacrificed to second by Terry and came home on a sharp base hit by freshman Josie Williams.
Westfall led 3-1 with six outs to go. Then came the bottom of the sixth and a whopping two out rally by Sandy Valley.
A lead off single, a sac bunt for an out and a one out walk had runners on first and second. Terry then got the second out from her catchers spot grabbing a Cardinal bunt and firing to first. With two runners in scoring position SV pitcher Loveless came up with the big hit of the game, doubling to the fence in right center to tie the game 3-3.
Ott walked and Cardinal Mandi Williams drove a single up the middle to give Sandy Valley their first lead at 4-3. Westfall was still very much in the game with their offense, but the dam burst at that point.
Two infield singles, two Westfall errors, a walk, and a wild pitch ended the Mustang hopes. Thirteen batters went to the plate and nine Cardinals scored after two outs to put SV up 10-3.
Westfall pounded out six hits, led by Brown's home run and two singles from Freshman Josie Williams. Fullen had a double and Darby Minor and Terry added singles for the Mustangs. Fullen, Minor, and Williams are all freshmen.
Coach Fred Redman's Mustangs finish the season 24-7 with SVC, Sectional, and District Championships.