Big Reds’ softball silenced

PHS one-hit by Hurricane in 10-0 loss

Photo by Mike Morrison Parkersburg High’s Kenzie Riddle delivers a pitch to an awaiting Hurricane batter during the Big Reds’ 10-0 loss to Hurricane Tuesday during a Class AAA Region IV elimination game.

VIENNA — For the second straight day, Hurricane sophomore pitcher Harlie Vannater was nothing short of brilliant in the circle as Redskins traveled to take on the Big Reds in the second game of the Class AAA Regional Finals.

After tossing a perfect game Monday night, Vannater struck out 10 PHS hitters Tuesday evening and allowed just one base hit as the Redskins blanked Parkersburg 12-0 in five innings to claim their fourth consecutive Regional IV crown.

Hurricane pounded out 15 basehits including homeruns by Lindsey Phares, Jayme Bailey and Taylor McRae in the fourth inning that pushed their lead to 10.

Redskins head coach Meghan Stevens was impressed with the way her pitcher picked right up where she left off the day before after the Big Reds got a couple of at bats off of her Monday to try and figure her out.

“She really brought it today and she has such good stuff. She has really shown it the past couple of days,” said Stevens of Vannater, who struck out 23 of the 31 batters she faced over the two day series.

“I was really pleased with how we came out the past couple of days and came out focused. We really, really wanted to get back to the state tournament and you could tell by their energy.”

Hurricane scored a single run in the opening inning off of Parkersburg starting pitcher Kenzie Riddle when Kiersten Landers singled, stole second and came into score on a Bailey basehit.

The Redskin bats really began to come to life in the third inning when they batted around to score four times and open up a 5-0 lead.

Caiti Mathis, McRae, Zoey Dunlap and Phares collected consecutive RBI hits to account for the four runs.

The winds picked up and the skies became a bit dark in the fourth inning just in time for the ‘Skins to string together their long-ball barrage.

Bailey homered on a line drive over the fence in center field to begin the inning before McRae followed suit with one out.

Phares capped the power display with a towering shot over the fence in left field.

“We are a very aggressive hitting team and sometimes we want to do too much,” said Stevens of her offense. “Sometimes we get out on our front foot and have a tendency to pop up but once we get our timing down and get things going it’s contagious.”

Every single hitter in the Hurricane lineup collected at least one base hit led by three hits apiece for Bailey and Phares.

While Hurricane advances to the state championship tournament once again, Parkersburg’s season comes to a close with a 12-15 record.

“Overall we are pleased with our season. We play in a tough conference and also play a very tough schedule,” said Parkersburg head coach Jason Roberts. “I’m proud of their effort. It’s obviously disappointing for it to end like this but it has to end sometime.”

Emily Allen’s double in the second inning proved to be the only hit of the game for PHS.