Westside is back in the regional finals. And Lady Renegades coach Sarah Patrick thinks this time the results will be different.
Cassie Blankenship threw a two-hitter and WHS topped Liberty, 3-0, last Friday in the regional semis on a cool, rainy evening at Clear Fork.
That puts the Renegades in a rematch of last year’s regional final with James Monroe.
“I have a lot of confidence (in our chances),” Patrick commented. “Our girls are playing with confidence. We have just one game (to make to state). “Last year we played at James Monroe (in the regional final) and lost 6-2,” she recalled.
Earlier this season, JM handed Westside its only run-rules loss of the season.
“We played pretty well in the first few innings, but we ended up losing in five innings,” she said. “I don’t know whether it’s the long trip or what
“I think this is going to be our year, we have something to prove,” Patrick stated.
WHS scored twice in the third and then added a run in the sixth when Aly Fleenor walked and came around to score on an Alexis Walls hit to right.
A walk and a Stephanie Griffith single to right with none out gave Liberty a chance in the bottom of the seventh. Blankenship fanned the next batter.
A ground out moved the runners into scoring position with two out.
Brooke Hemstrey’s grounder rolled to first.
Westside’s Kasey Walls didn’t field it cleanly at first but kept her composure and tagged the bag before Hemstrey got there. Blankenship finished with nine strikeouts.
She also had a triple and drove in a run.
Alexis Walls and Christian Price had the other RBIs. Ashton Lester doubled, and Leah Pack had two hits. Griffith and Michela Ferrell had the only hits for the Raiders.
Liberty was more competitive than it was in an 8-0 loss a few weeks ago.
“They didn’t make as many mistakes,” Patrick noted, “and we got robbed (by thier defense) a couple of times on ball I thought were hit pretty well.
“Cassie did a wonderful job, and the defense was good,” the coach continued. “We need to work on our hitting.”
Westside will host JM this Thursday.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.
Photo: Westside’s Kasey Walls tags first base for the final out in last Friday’s 3-0 regional semifinal win over Liberty at Clear Fork.