By Carl Holcomb
From picnic shenanigans to dugout dancing, Moorefield Little League 9-11 Softball All-Stars chemistry was tremendous in the state tournament putting together a 10-3 victory over Hite-Saunders in the first round last Saturday in Hedgesville.
“These girls have worked so hard. They are playing as a team. as a coach you know when they play as a team good things will happen. Amber
Williams pitched a great game and we only made a few mistakes. We hit the ball very well. Our defense was strong. Need to do it again tomorrow,” Moorefield Little League 9-11 Softball All-Stars manager Tyrone Haines remarked.
District 6 champion Moorefield played with whimsical facial expression signs during the picnic and kept the joy going with dancing and singing in the dugout.
Moorefield’s Sterling Kump hit a leadoff single off District 1 runner-up Hite-Saunders pitcher Isabella Johnston just beating the shortstop’s throw.
Seanna Heavner drew a walk after Kump stole second base, then Johnston struck out Carlee Haines.
[private] Madison Thomas connected for an RBI double and an error created a second run plus advancement to third base.
Amber Rose Williams was issued a walk, then Thomas scored on a passed ball.
Marissa Ward plated Williams on an error and dashed to second base on the sequence to make it 4-0.
After a pop-out, Ward stole third base.
McKenna Crites was given a walk and distracted the infielders on a rundown to provide time for Ward to score before being tagged out at first base as Moorefield went up 5-0.
Williams stepped into the pitcher’s circle and jammed the first two batters into pop-ups catching one and Crites snatched the other.
Hits-Saunders got a runner aboard as Madison Pitts reached on an error and Olivia Saunders hit into a fielder’s choice for the third out.
Kump drew a walk with one out in the second inning for Moorefield, but thrown out on a double play.
Williams induced a groundout to Crites, then struck out Hite-Saunders Emma Edwards before collecting the last out hit by Abby Waugh.
In the top of the third inning, Thomas got on board safely as the ball ricocheted off the pitcher’s leg into shallow left field and was left on base with a pair of groundouts.
Hite-Saunders managed to get one on base as Jackson was issued a walk with an out before being stranded on a groundout and pop-out (catcher).
Moorefield’s Morgan Whetzel reached base on an error to begin the fourth inning and Crites was given a free pass.
After a strikeout to Aryana Wachter, Kump was walked to load the bases and the next run came home on a walk to Heavner.
Haines struck out and Malena Price grounded out to Johnston as Hite-Saunders limited the damage.
A line drive was caught by Haines at shortstop for Moorefield, then Saunders singled to the gap in left field.
Johnston garnered an RBI single into right field for a 6-1 score.
Maddie Ross advanced on a dropped third strike with the throw to third base not in time.
Waugh hit into a fielder’s choice at second base which enabled a run to come home making it 6-2.
An error on a pickoff attempt advanced Waugh, but H. Ross grounded out.
In the fifth inning, Moorefield scored four runs with a two-out rally.
After Williams grounded out and Alexis May struck out, Biser smashed a triple into left field.
Crites followed with an RBI single into center field and Wachter plated Crites on an error while dashing to second base.
Kump plated a run on a dropped third strike with a throwing error from the catcher creating an advancement to second base.
Heavner drew a walk and Haines stepped up to rip an RBI single for a 10-2 advantage.
Thomas returned to the lineup and there was a lengthy timeout as Hite-Saunders challenged the substitution re-entry which initially resulted in an out before the umpire reversed the call after talking with the scorekeeper and after the mix-up a groundout occurred.
Thomas caught a line drive from Jackson in the bottom of the fifth inning, then Jaclyn Adkins singled and an error allowed advancement to third base.
Combs hit an RBI groundout to close the gap 10-3.
Pitts reached on an error just off the glove at second base before Williams fielded a grounder to close the inning.
Williams hit a leadoff single in the top of the sixth inning for Moorefield and stole second base.
Ward made a sacrifice grounder, but Williams was left on base on a pop-out and strikeout.
Hite-Saunders went down in order as Williams finished the game with a strikeout, 10-3.
Moorefield kept the momentum going with an 11-1 victory over Milton which setup a winner’s bracket final against Winfield on Monday which was played after press time.