The 2019 North-South all-star games have yet to go the way of the South stars so far this year.
Dominating wins in both boys and girls basketball surrounded an 8-6 win by the North in the annual football contest Saturday. Today at Buffalo High School, the South gets one more opportunity to knock off the North squad, this time on the softball diamond.
The skills competition starts at 10:30 a.m. with two games to follow starting at 1 p.m.
Area players selected to play for the South this year were Ashleigh Sexton and Nicole Kester from Independence and Wyoming East flame-thrower Holly Brehm.
All three players have earned first-team all-state honors over their careers with Brehm earning the honor each of her four seasons in the circle.
Brehm, who will attend Ohio University in the fall, was 21-5 this season with 353 strikeouts, a 0.64 ERA, along with 16 shutouts that included nine no-hitters and one perfect game.
Kester was a defensive rock for the Lady Patriots at shortstop and a nemesis for opponents in the lead-off position at the plate. The future WVU Tech Golden Bear hit .509 with four homers, 25 RBI and 28 stolen bases.
Sexton has always been a long ball threat over her career. This season she hit .476 with two home runs in the regular season and had 13 doubles. She smacked two more long balls in Indy’s three state tournament this year. Last season Sexton set the single-season record for home runs at Independence with nine.
Class AAA state champion Hurricane will have three players in the game, Caiti Mathes, Taylor McCray and Zoey Dunlap.
Mathes, a Marshall University signee, is coming off a season for the ages where she hit .607 with 22 home runs and 73 RBI to lead the Lady Redskins. McCray followed Mathes hitting .444 with 11 home runs and 44 RBIs while Dunlap hit .504 with three home runs, 52 RBIs and a team-best 21 doubles.
George Washington finished runner-up to Hurricane in the Class AAA championship and will have three players on the South Roster.
Grace Smith led the Lady Patriots with a .562 batting average along with multi-sport star Katy Darnell who hit .545. The two Lady Patriot first-teamers will be joined by catcher Emma Groe.
Cabell Midland will send one first-team selection to the game in Morehead State signee, Kirya Kingery, who led the Lady Knights with a .547 batting average. She will be joined by Sydney Chapman.
Class AA state champion Herbert Hoover will be represented by Rebekah Woody and Megan Seafler, while Class A state champion Sherman will send Haylee Clendenin and Class A first teamer, Katlyn Jenkins.
The remaining players for the South are Olivia Arthur (Buffalo), Randa Watts (Lincoln County), Class AA first team selection Jenna Thomas (Sissonville), Bryn Osburn (Spring Valley) and Riley Shirkey (Spring Valley).
Hedgesville’s Class AAA first-team pitcher Miranda Payne leads the North squad. Payne hit .462 this year with four home runs, 45 RBI and was 13-0 in the circle. She is joined by fellow first-teamer from Buckhannon- Upshur, Alli Robinson who hit .457 with 11 home runs and 48 RBI.
Rounding the North roster is Class A first team selections, Rebekah Markwood (Moorefield) and Ashley Tharp (Magnolia), along with Rachel Cunningham (Jefferson), Jordyn Brown (Washington), Katie Dubyak (Washington), Kira Riffle (Notre Dame), MacKenzie Weasenforth (Petersburg), Lydia Knutsen (John Marshall), Kelsey Chacalos (Wheeling Park), Catie Nesbitt (Wheeling Park), Hanna Walker (Oak Glen) and Erica Simon (Philip Barbour).
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and follow on Twitter @Rusman1981