Ritchie County’s Kenna DeLancey doubled in two runs in the bottom of the sixth to help the Rebels rally past Westside, 3-1, Wednesday morning in the Class AA state softball tournament at Vienna.
DeLancey also hurled three shut out innings as Ritchie (26-5) moved into the winner’s bracket.
“They knew we were here,” said WHS coach Sarah Patrick. “We made a couple of mistakes in the sixth that cost us.”
The Lady Renegades (18-3) scored their only run in the fourth, but it could have been a much bigger inning.
Stephanie Brown and Cassie Blankenship each singled up the middle of Ritchie starter Moie Ray, and both runners moved up on a Christian Price grounder.
Leah Pack punched the ball to right to score Brown, and it was 1-0.
Alexis Walls bunted her way on to load the bases.
But Ray struck out the next batter and got another to ground out to get out of trouble.
“I thought we hit the ball pretty well,” Patrick remarked.
Kasey Walls doubled to open the Westside fifth and she moved to third on a passed ball.
DeLancey replaced Ray after the Walls, and she struck out the side to end the threat.
Pack doubled an 0-2 over the centerfielder’s head—the hardest hit ball of the game— to put the Renegades in business in the sixth. But the courtesy runner was left at third.
Vanessa Tallman and Becca Sullivan bunted to start the Ritchie sixth, and fielding miscues allowed them to reach safely.
DeLancey followed with a double deep into the left field corner to score both runs.
Abby Burgess bunted to bring DeLancey in later in the inning to make it 3-1.
Westside Kasey Walls reached second with one out in the seventh on a Rebel throwing error. A pinch runner was put in after she moved up to third on a chopper to the pitcher by Kelsey Walls.
The runner was called out after trying to score after a wild pitch.
“I’m proud of the the team,” Patrick stated. “I thought Cassie pitched a great game. And we’re not out of it. I think we can come back.”
Blankenship struck out seven in six innings of work.
Pack had two hits and an RBI for WHS . Kasey Walls had double.
DeLancey struck out six in three innings. She doubled twice and drove in two runs.
Update: WHS had the early lead but fell to Petersburg, 4-2, Wednesday afternoon, to be eliminated from the state tourney. The Lady Renegades enjoyed their best season ever and finished the season at 18-4.
Photo: Westside players huddle with head coach Sarah Patrick as Ritchie County mounts a threat at the state softball tournament in Vienna.