By Dan Stillwell
Register-Herald Sports Writer
SHADY SPRING —
Nothing bothers Katie Snodgress.
Whether it was runners on third base, or 3-1 counts to batters, the Shady Spring all-stater battled out of trouble each time as the Tigers downed Greenbrier East 4-0 Thursday evening in a Class AAA Region 3 semifinal game.
“Katie has no emotions out there,” Shady third baseman and leading hitter Mackenzie Milam said of the senior. “She’s pitched for so long she’s used to it. She tends to operate better under pressure.”
Snodgress (14-2) fired a two-hitter, striking out 10 while walking just one batter.
Still, the Spartans threatened her in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings. Each time they came away empty handed.
“I don’t let a lot of things bother me,” Snodgress said. “We play really well together under pressure. Everything they did hit, my defense had my back on.”
Aidrice Cook broke Snodgress’ no-hitter in the fourth inning with a double to center. The next hitter, Melanie McIntire, then grounded to Milam at third, who threw to Autumn Kauff at first base for the third out.
In the sixth, Lindsey Bradley singled to left and took second base on an error. Hanna Moiseman advanced her to third on a fielder’s choice, but Snodgress rallied to strike out Heather Vallandingham on a 3-2 pitch and Mo O’Brien on a 2-2 count.
Kristen Gibson drew a two-out base on balls in the seventh. Abbie Cook singled her to third, but Snodgress made Patty Mosso swing through an off-speed pitch for strike three to end the game.
“Katie does what she’s got to do to come out of a situation every time,” coach Nikki Hall-Mackey said. “She’s got everything (pitch-wise), and our defense backs her up when she does need help.”
East starting pitcher Victoria Krystynak was, at times, brilliant on the mound as well. She walked one and struck out 13 in six innings of work.
But when she got into trouble, Shady always scored.
Krystynak struck out the side in the first inning, then gave up a triple to Milam in the second and uncorked a wild pitch to bring her home for a 1-0 Tiger lead.
She again struck out the side in the third, only to surrender six consecutive hits and three more runs in the fourth.
With one out, Alexis DeMoss looped a single to right and Milam followed with a hit to center. Both advanced when the ball was misplayed.
Snodgress helped her own cause by grounding up the middle for a two-run single. Michelle Snodgress also singled and Alexis Coalson followed with a double to center, scoring courtesy runner Skye Stump for a 4-0 advantage.
Krystynak allowed just two more base runners the rest of the way — DeMoss on a single and Coalson on a walk — but the damage was too much to overcome against Snodgress.
“We hit the ball hard, but when (Shady) hit it, theirs seemed to fall into place and ours didn’t,” coach Steve Boone said. “Victoria’s a junior who has pitched very good for us. She should be an all-state selection.”
Shady (19-2) will play at Ripley May 16 for the Region 3 championship. The Vikings stunned South Charleston 4-1 in 11 innings in Thursday’s other semifinal.
“I’m not surprised. From the first week of practice I knew we were going to do well,” Mackey-Hall said.
East concludes at 15-9.
“I wanted to still be playing, but I’m proud of them,” Boone said. “We only lose three seniors. We look to be strong next year.”
— E-mail: dstillwell@
GE: 000 000 0 — 0 3 1
SS: 010 300 x — 4 7 1
GE: Victoria Krystynak and Melanie McIntire, SS: Katie Snodgress and McKenzie Severt. WP — Snodgress. LP — Krystynak. Hitting — GE: Abbie Cook 1-3, Aidrice Cook 1-3 (2B), Lindsey Bradley 1-2, SS: Alexis DeMoss 2-3 (r), Mackenzie Milam 2-3 (2B, 3B, r), K. Snodgress 1-3 (2 rbi, r), Michelle Snodgress 1-3, Alexis Coalson 1-2 (2b, rbi). LOB: GE 3, SS 4.
Records: GE 15-9, SS 21-2.