AP NEWS

Sissonville softball eliminates Wayne

May 8, 2019

SISSONVILLE, W.Va. — The rain and delays from the end of last week may not have benefited any team more than Sissonville.

The Indians, scuffling of late at the plate and in the win-loss columns, used the weekend and Monday to work themselves out of a slump and erupted for 16 hits in five innings to knock off Wayne 9-1 in a Class AA, Region IV, Section 1 high school softball tilt on Tuesday.

Sissonville, the section’s top seed, will play host to No. 2 Point Pleasant at 6 p.m. Wednesday in another elimination game with the winner needing two wins in the following two days against Nitro to claim the sectional crown. The Wildcats edged the Big Blacks 4-3 on Monday to seize control of the section. Wayne ended its season at 15-14.

The Indians (25-7) lost their sectional opener 5-3 to Nitro last week, at the time the team’s fourth straight loss. Sissonville rebounded to beat sixth-seeded Poca 12-0 on Thursday but appeared to rediscover something on Tuesday as six batters turned in multi-hit efforts.

“We’ve been through a slump,” coach Jack Linville said. “The girls have put in a lot of time. The girls showed up ready to play today. I think the time off gave the girls time to breathe, time to focus and time to bond yet again and I think we came together and showed that we’re not done yet.”

“We had to really get in a new mindset,” senior centerfielder Emily Taylor said. “The losses taught us — the wins teach us about winning but you learn more from the losses — so we had to look back at previous games, fix what we needed and we came out here for three hours yesterday and put in the work. The bats finally came alive.”

To say the least.

Wayne struck first as Whitney Sansom doubled and scored on an RBI single from Elizabeth Queen in the top of the first.

In the bottom of the inning, Sissonville went on a tear. Emma Taylor singled and Jenna Thomas and Aly Soblit followed with hits to tie the game. Alexis Bailey came up with a two-out, infield single to give the Indians a lead they never relinquished.

Taylor drove in two runs in the second and the Indians added three more in the fourth to make it 7-1.

All four batters the Indians sent to the plate in the fifth singled with Gracelyn Hill’s poke to left field serving as the game winner, scoring Honesty Bragg and setting off a celebration at home plate.

Taylor, one of the team’s two seniors along with Thomas, said she didn’t figure it would take long for her team to get refocused after Tuesday’s big win.

“We’re ready now,” Taylor said. “I’d say tell Point to get their butts over here right now. We feel good, we feel ready — we’re not too cocky, but we’re ready to play.”

Meade, Taylor and Thomas combined to go 8-for-9 with three RBI and four runs at the top of Sissonville’s lineup. Bailey, Bragg and Jaelyn Beane each went 2-for-3. After the rocky start, Sissonville freshman pitcher Madison Legg settled in to scatter four hits over five frames with seven strikeouts and one intentional walk.

Sansom led Wayne, going 2-for-3.

“The girls have put in a lot of time. The girls showed up ready to play today. I think the time off gave the girls time to breathe, time to focus and time to bond yet again and I think we came together and showed that we’re not done yet.”

Jack Linville

Sissonville head coach