ELLENBORO, W.Va. – The Ritchie County softball team punched their ticket to the state softball tournament earlier this week.
It marks the first time since 2015 that the Rebels are among the final four teams in Single-A.
Ritchie County did it in style too, coming back from an early two-run deficit on Tuesday, to beat Madonna 7-2 in Game One of the regional series.
Ritchie then beat the Blue Dons, 4-1, on Wednesday, sweeping the regional round.
This Rebels senior class is not only motivated because they didn’t get a season last year due to the pandemic, but also because they’re playing for last year’s group that didn’t get a chance to play on the biggest stage.
“Everyone has been wanting to do this for so long. This is what we’ve been working for,” said Chloe Elliott, the Rebels’ senior pitcher. “Last year, we were all expecting to get to states, but of course we didn’t have the season, so of course it means a lot to us, considering that our seniors last year didn’t get to have that.”
Elliott is one of just three seniors on this year’s Ritchie County team. Her and her fellow seniors played their last game at the RCHS softball field when they beat Madonna on Tuesday.
She spoke about that following Tuesday’s game, and spoke Friday about playing on the turf fields at the State Tournament in South Charleston.
“(Our gameplan) basically stays the same. The mound’s a little bit better on turf, so it definitely helps me a lot,” Elliott said when asked if playing on a turf field changes how the Rebels like to play.
Elliott leads the Rebels to Charleston, having recorded more than 200 strikeouts in the circle, and hitting for an average above .500 on the year.
Elliott and Ritchie County take on Midland Trail on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at Craft Field at Little Creek Park in South Charleston.
All Single-A softball tournament games will be played on Craft Field, one of three all-turf softball fields at Little Creek Park, which is the new site of the state softball tournament.