CLAKRSBURG, W.Va. – Three local teams still have a chance bring home a state baseball or softball championship trophy this week.
Ritchie County’s softball team, and baseball teams from Bridgeport and North Marion, are all among the final four teams in their classifications.
The state softball tournament will begin on Tuesday at Little Creek Park in South Charleston, with all teams playing two games. Championship games will be played on Wednesday.
The state baseball tournament will begin at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston on Thursday. Triple-A teams will compete Thursday evening, with Double and Single-A teams playing their semi-final game on Friday. Championship games will be played at Power Park on Saturday.
RITCHIE COUNTY SOFTBALL (21-5)
Ritchie County’s softball team qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2015. The Rebels have a proud softball tradition, and have twice won a state championship.
Ritchie County won it all in Double-A in 2011, and won the AA/A title in 1992.
The Rebels (21-5) will take on Midland Trail (20-4) in the first round at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday at Craft Field.
Chloe Elliott leads the way for the Lady Rebels. Elliott has recorded more than 200 strikeouts from the circle, and enters the state tournament with a batting averaged above .500.
NORTH MARION BASEBALL (19-8)
Vic Seccuro’s group made history last week when the Huskies captured a regional title to qualify for the state baseball tournament for the first time in school history.
North Marion has won nine of their last ten games, including sweeping Frankfort in the Regional round of the playoffs.
The Huskies will make history on Friday morning when they step on the field at Power Park for the first time. They will take on an Independence (23-4) team that has lost just four times this year, but three of those losses have come since the start of June.
North Marion boasts a lineup in which every regular starter has a batting average of .300 or higher, including Jace Rinehart who’s average is .506 on the year.
BRIDGEPORT BASEBALL (32-3)
Bridgeport is back at Power Park. The Indians have changed classifications, but not much else has changed.
Robert Shields’ group, however, is the No. 3 seed in a stacked Triple-A field, as the top three seeds have suffered just three losses or less all year long.
Bridgeport puts a significant streak on the line on Thursday, as they will look to get back to a state title game for the seventh consecutive state tournament. The Indians have won each of the last six Double-A state titles, and will look to win their first-ever Triple-A baseball title.
In order to play on ‘Championship Saturday’ Shields and company will have to get past a Jefferson team that has proved to be a very tough out in these playoffs. Not only that, but Jefferson manager, John Lowery Sr., has more than 1,300 wins as a high school manager.
Shields’ win total, combined with Lowery’s, means that there will be more than 2,200 wins in the dugout on Thursday.
Bridgeport and Jefferson are scheduled to play approximately 50 minutes after the conclusion of the other Triple-A semi-final.