Trying to figure out who is going to win the last West Virginia Conference softball tournament, which gets under way this morning at Jackson Park, might be a little easier than picking Saturday's Kentucky Derby winner, but I'm not sure about that.
What I am sure about is the spring sports season is quickly winding down and vacation isn't too far off on the horizon for the scribes here at the paper.
However, there's still a lot of business to take care of between now and then and I'm excited for the WVIAC tournament to be here once again.
The most interesting aspect of the tournament for me is the opening round game between No. 5 seed Glenville State and No. 4 seed W.Va. Wesleyan. The Bobcats and Pioneers split their regular season meeting.
Although there are not a plethora of former area players in the tournament this year, there are some.
Ex-Ritchie County Rebel Brittnay Spencer has had a solid year for the Pioneers with a .302 batting average to go along with five doubles, three homers and 26 runs-batted-in. Spencer's 26 RBIs are third best on the GSC team and former Parkersburg South Patriot Katelyn Porter, who has stolen five bases, is fourth on the team with 14 RBIs. Ex-Ripley Viking Carly Caldon also has provided problems for opposing defenses with her stolen base ability.
Charleston, which has the No. 3 seed behind top-seeded Fairmont State and second-seeded W.Va. State, has received a solid campaign from Katelyn Hamilton. The former Parkersburg South standout has hit .304 through 45 posted starts. She also has one homer, seven RBIs and has stolen 12 bases in 13 attempts.
FSU head coach Rick Wade's program has a pair of ex-area players in Ripley graduate Ryne Hill and Warren graduate Kayla Leach. Hill has played in 20 games, started seven and batted .375 (12 for 32) while collecting one homer and five RBIs. Leach has just eight at-bats this year, but does have three hits and two runs-batted-in.
Although I suppose the Fighting Falcons are the favorites since they have the No. 1 seed, in a year where no WVIAC team enters the tournament with single digit losses I'm not totally positive about that either. The good news is we should know a lot more after play on Friday.
As far as the Kentucky Derby goes, I really haven't done too much in the way of studying, but one of my buddies said this could be the kind of year where one is just best served to pick a name they like, throw $10 on it to win and pray for a miracle. After taking a quick look at the Daily Racing Form, I'm thinking he might be on to something.
Last, but certainly not least, major props go out to Spencer Middle School freshman Josie Raines, who is a terror on the track. The future Roane County thinclad went 16 feet, 1 inch in the long jump on Tuesday night, which is better than the current Raider school record.
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org