LKC title at stake

PARKERSBURG – The Little Kanawha Conference softball championships will be conducted today in Ellenboro as host Ritchie County will try to continue its dominance on the diamond.

Ritchie County, which is 23-2 and last failed to win the LKC title back in 2006 when it suffered a 1-0 loss to Clay County, will take on Braxton County at 3 p.m. in the first semifinal. The Rebels, who defeated the Eagles 11-1 in their only meeting, was the top seed in the North Division while Braxton County (18-6) earned the second seed in the South Division.

In the other semifinal, scheduled for a 5 p.m. first pitch, LKC South Division champion Roane County (19-2) is set to tangle with St. Marys. The Raiders of head coach Sam Salvucci have used hurler Casey Lassiter in every game. She’s thrown 116 2/3 innings and posted a 2.52 earned run average to go along with 131 strikeouts against 30 walks.

Offensively for the Raiders, Cassidy Taylor has compiled a .606 average (43 for 71) that includes 20 doubles, 22 steals and 40 runs-batted-in.

Rebel head coach Dave Mossor said, “I don’t know if I’m going to pitch Moie (Ray) against them or Kenna (DeLancey),” in the semifinal versus Braxton County. Ray and DeLancey have 11 wins apiece for a team which through its first 23 games had swiped 120 bases without a caught stealing.

“Everything is coming to the front right now,” said Mossor, whose team beat Doddridge County (13-4) and Ravenswood (9-1) earlier this week.

“Every team from here on out is always a difficult one. I think we are ready for the task. I can’t say anymore than that.”

In what was supposed to be a “rebuilding” year for St. Marys head coach John Mike Nichols’ program, but the Blue Devils have played pretty good ball and enter today’s play with an 18-6 mark.

St. Marys had to rally for a 5-4 victory on Tuesday in eight innings at Doddridge County to earn the No. 2 seed as the Bulldogs dropped to a third seed.

“We’re just happy to be playing,” Nichols said of making the LKC tournament, which will conduct the title game at 7 p.m.. “We’re going to go out and give it our best and see what we can do. We haven’t played Roane County this year and they are having a great year.

“They are always a solid team. Just based on the past, Roane is going to hit the ball and be disciplined in the field. We are going to have to play a near flawless game if we want to have any chance of moving on.”

Also tonight, the LKC placement games will be going on with the North Division squads acting as the host site, except for Williamstown, which will play in Lost Creek versus South Harrison.