ELLENBORO, W.Va. – Ritchie County’s Chloe Elliott settled in after allowing a first-inning two-run home run Tuesday night.
Elliott, who gave up two hits in the opening frame, gave up just one hit the remaining six innings. Meanwhile, she struck out 12 hitters and silenced the Madonna bats.
Ritchie County’s bats came alive in the third inning, scoring seven unanswered runs to win 7-2 in Game 1 of the Class A Region I tournament.
“It means a lot, especially since this is the field I’ve had since middle school, using this school. And then going from sixth and seventh grade to now, it’s really important,” said Elliott when asked what winning Tuesday meant, given that it could be her final game on her home field.
Ritchie County scored three runs to take the lead in the third inning.
Lillie Law’s single through the infield drove in two of those runs to put the Rebels ahead, 3-2.
Ritchie added to the lead an inning later, and then plated two more runs in the fifth inning. Maci Ireland doubled down the third-base line to give Ritchie County a 6-2 lead.
With the win, the Rebels are now just one win away from advancing to the state tournament.
“That would mean a lot to me, since I’ve been trying to get this for four years. Not having a season last year really hurt us. Right now we are trying our best, we’re trying our best to get there,” said Elliott when asked what getting to the state tournament would mean.
Ritchie County now travels to the Northern Panhandle to take on Madonna Wednesday evening. If the Rebels win, they would automatically advance to the state tournament.
A loss on Wednesday by the Rebels would force a decisive Game 3 in Ellenboro on Thursday.