The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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April 30, 2013

Tigers end season for rival Flying Eagles

Shady Spring wins a pair to keep playing

BECKLEY — Nikki Mackey-Hall was wanting more intensity in the early going from her Shady Spring softball team.

“It’s been taking an inning or two (lately) to get on opponents,” she said. “We told them to buckle down and get runs in the first and second innings.”

How about 12 runs to start the game, Coach?

The Tigers exploded for a total of 15 first-inning runs Tuesday as they swept Woodrow Wilson 15-1 and 10-2 in the championship series of the Class AAA Region 3, Section 1 tournament at Flying Eagles Park.

Shady batted around twice in the first inning of the opener, stroking five hits and taking advantage of three Woodrow Wilson errors and seven bases on balls to take a 12-0 lead.

The Tigers jumped on Woodrow for three runs in the first inning of the nightcap, then added three in the third and three more in the fourth. A solo run in the sixth ended the game via the mercy rule.

“You couldn’t ask for anything better,” Mackey-Hall said. “They were here to play ball.”

Shady’s pitching duo of twins Katie and Michelle Snodgress, both seniors, held Woodrow to a total of eight hits.

Katie, first-team all-stater last season, scattered four hits in the first game, striking out nine Flying Eagles while walking only one.

Michelle, who earned second-team all-state honors as a junior, had a no-hitter through first four innings. Emily Lane finally broke through for Woodrow with a double in the fifth, and the Flying Eagles went on to scored two unearned runs.

Katie hurled the final inning and added another strikeout.

Michelle, who struck out 10, primarily with a mean screwball, gave up two hits and two walks. She didn’t mind giving way to her sister.

“I usually don’t pitch as long as Katie. She has a lot more endurance than I do,” she said.

Michelle also had a good change-up and curveball as she completely mastered Woodrow during the first four innings.

“Michelle started to get out of her zone (in the fifth), but she buckled down,” Mackey-Hall said. “She came out and showed us what she can do.”

Third baseman Mackenzie Milam led the Shady attack in the first game with two hits and three RBIs. Katie Snodgress was 2 for 2 and two RBIs.

Woodrow junior Shannon Underwood replaced starter Cara MacAulay in the first inning of the opener and held the Tigers to three hits the rest of the way.

She was victimized by seven errors in the second game. Only one of the Tigers’ 10 runs was earned. Michelle Snodgress helped her own cause with two hits and an RBI.

“Errors hurt us, but Shady played a great ball game,” Flying Eagles coach Deb Allen said. “I have to give them credit.”

Shady committed just three errors, compared to Woodrow’s 12.

“We have a solid defense, and our outfield is pretty quick,” Milam said. “They catch everything that comes to them.”

Lane was the bright spot at the plate for Woodrow with three hits and two runs.

Underwood struck out eight batters.

Allen, in her first season with the team, said she didn’t know the Flying Eagles’ record.

“We’re trying to build a better program. This year has been good, but difficult. It’s a learning experience,” she said.

“I think the girls are going to be much better next year, but we need to keep working.”

Shady Spring (16-2) will play the winner of the Greenbrier East-Princeton section next week at a date and location to be announced.

— E-mail: dstillwell

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