SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – 11 teams. Three trophies. One dream. A state championship is what most young athletes dream of–the chance to hold that plaque up high and be able to say they won it all.
Southern West Virginia hopes to bring home two state champions this week.
In Class AA, Shady Spring looks to continue what they call a dream season.
“If we could hold onto this season and let it never end, we would,” explained Shady Spring Head Coach Donald Barnett. “That’s the bittersweet part of coming to the end. But we’re going to do the best we can and see if we can make some noise down in Charleston.”
It took seven games for the Lady Tigers to ultimately take the sectional crown from their Raleigh County rival, the Independence Patriots; it took just two to win the region against Wyoming East.
Shady Spring has several key role players. Paige Maynard, Olivia Barnett and Hadley Wood have anchored the Lady Tigers’ lineup for years, and they want nothing more than to finish out their high school careers as state champions.
Senior shortstop Olivia Barnett said, “We’ve just been so excited. I’ve waited for this moment for four years now. I am so excited.”
“It’s crazy to believe we’re going to states for the first time in 10 years. It’s just ‘whoa’ honestly,” laughed senior first baseman Hadley Wood.
For Midland Trail, the path to states was not necessarily easy, but the Lady Patriots overcame multiple obstacles to make their way back to South Charleston.
The Class A sectional championship was an epic win for Trail. After taking a 5-0 lead in Game 7, Greenbrier West clawed all the way back to take the lead. But the Lady Patriots were not ready to see their season end. An eight-run seventh inning was the dagger in that game.
Sophomore outfielder Alexis Dozier explained, “I was overwhelmed. I thought it was going to be an infield fly at first, but then it turned out not to be an infield fly. One bad play does not affect us.”
In regional play, it was Trail who was down 6-0 before they even came to bat in Game 2. But the lady patriots once again proved they have no quit, going on a 15-0 run to punch their ticket to states.
*coach young sot*
Shady Spring opens their run in South Charleston on Wednesday against Winfield, while Midland Trail battles Wahama.
And by the end of Thursday and up to 21 games in 48 hours, the Lady Tigers and Lady Patriots just hope that they can say they are officially state champions.