PARKERSBURG - When semifinal action gets underway at 5 p.m. today at the Sue Morris Sports Complex in Glenville, the Rebels of veteran Ritchie County head coach Dave Mossor will be seeking the school's seventh consecutive Little Kanawha Conference softball championship and 22nd all-time.
The Rebels, who were the top team in the LKC West Division, will take on Doddridge County, which finished second in the LKC East. The other semifinal, which will be played simultaneously, pits Roane County - the top seed in the LKC East - against Ravenswood.
Ritchie County (18-3) swept its regular-season meetings against the Bulldogs by scores of 12-4 and 4-0. In the most recent 4-0 contest on Saturday, Rebel sophomore Kenna DeLancey fanned 15 during a no-hit effort.
"I'm going to pitch Kenna in the first game and Moie (Ray) will pitch against whoever wins (the other semifinal) if we get by Doddridge," Mossor said. "I could switch it around, but I think I'm going to go that way."
Aside from having a 10-1 mound mark with 116 strikeouts in 65 innings of work, DeLancey leads the Mid-Ohio Valley in batting average (.733; 44 of 60) and has slugged five home runs to go along with nine doubles, an MOV-best eight triples and 29 runs-batted-in. She's also 30-for-30 in stolen-base attempts.
Vanessa Tallman (.500), Becca Sullivan (.387), Ray (.368) and lone senior Abby Burgess, the Rebels' catcher who is batting .333, are the team's top hitters.
Doddridge County, which likely will start Lacy Perkins (105 Ks, 92 IP), brings a 12-10 record into the tournament. Perkins leads the Bulldogs in average (.518), doubles (10) and pitching wins with nine. Alissa Davis is hitting .390 with a team-high 16 RBIs. Courtney Wilt (.418), Mikala Keplinger (.383) and Cheyenne Currey (.379) are also more than capable with the bat.
Ravenswood, which is 15-5, appears to have the edge on Roane County. Last week, the two teams played back-to-back home and away games with the Red Devils picking up wins by scores of 7-3 in Jackson County and then 9-1 in a shortened-game at Spencer.
The 22-6 Raiders of head man Sam Salvucci aren't expected to be at full strength, but the coach said there will be no excuses.
"Last Thursday at our place (against Ravenswood), we had an emergency when one of our players' family members died and everything went bad," said the coach. "We cancelled the rest of the game.
"Friday night is the funeral service and we could be missing anywhere from one to four of our players. I know some of them are torn about what to do, but that is more important than softball."
Raider Casey Lassiter leads the MOV with 20 wins and 150 strikeouts in 122 innings of work. She's also hitting .468 and has 29 RBIs. Teammate Cassidy Taylor, who is batting .563, leads the area in both doubles (24) and runs-batted-in (43). She's swiped 35 bases and teammate Kasey Blosser has an area-best 45 stolen bases. Miranda Hall is hitting .442 for the Raiders and has 10 two-baggers.
The championship game will follow the semifinals. Tickets are $5 for the entire evening.
In the event of Mother Nature causing problems, the rain date has been set for 10 a.m. Saturday with a noon championship game.