|Westview makes history with first regional crown |
The Westview Lady Chargers made something out of nothing and, as a result, can claim their spot in the WHS history books.
History — The 2008 Westview Lady Chargers became the first squad in school history to claim a regional softball title with their 1-0 victory over Covington in the Region 7 A-AA championship game Wednesday afternoon at the Martin Recreation Complex.
Westview was held hitless in the Region 7 A-AA championship game but still managed to defeat the visiting Covington Lady Chargers, 1-0, on Wednesday afternoon at the Martin Recreation Complex. The regional title is the first ever for a Westview softball team.
To get the historic victory, Westview (34-11-1) manufactured a run while playing solid defense behind stellar pitching.
“This was our biggest win. To finally beat a team like Covington, it’s another hurdle we’ve gotten over,” Westview head softball coach J.B. Suiter said after the victory.
Covington was the third-place team in the state in Class AA last season and the 2006 state runner-up. These two teams played each other a year ago for the regional title, but it was Covington taking a 3-1 win in 2007.
With the victory, the Lady Chargers from Weakley County will host their sectional round game on Friday. Westview will entertain the loser of the Region 8 A-AA title game — either Mitchell or Carver — at a time yet to be determined. At stake in Friday’s contest will be a trip next week to the BlueCross Spring Fling in Murfreesboro. The first round of games in the double-elimination state tournament will be held Tuesday night at the Starplex facility. Westview is seeking its second consecutive trip to the state tournament.
Westview’s offensive options against Covington were limited due to a fine pitching performance by CHS starter Tobie Joy. Joy, a Middle Tennessee State University signee, held the hosts hitless over six innings. For the entire contest, Westview had just two baserunners.
Westview starter Shaylon Robb also turned in an outstanding mound effort. The freshman right-hander struck out 10 while allowing just two walks and two hits. Behind Robb, the Lady Charger defense played flawlessly and error free.
It was the home team with the initial player reaching base when WHS senior Emily Belote drew a walk in the first inning. Belote was thrown out trying to steal second by Bailey Morgan.
Robb gave up a leadoff walk to Kelly Sage to start the second inning. Sage moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sarah Elizabeth Couser. However, Couser was injured on the play and forced out of the game.
With Covington’s first runner in scoring position, Robb buckled down and struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
In the home half of the third, Jenna Hazelwood led off and nubbed a roller down the first base line. Covington’s Samantha Smith fielded the ball and waited to tag Hazelwood. Hazelwood dodged to her right and avoided Smith’s tag to reach on an error.
Suiter called on McKenzie Norris to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Smith fielded the grounder, and with the recent miss on the attempt to tag Hazelwood, pursued Norris well outside the baseline. While Smith chased Norris, Hazelwood kept running from first all the way to third. After tagging Norris out, Smith turned and threw past Covington third baseman Amber Towles to allow Hazelwood to scamper home with what turned out to be the game’s only run.
“That was just an intelligent play on Jenna’s part. She’s either got to run her over or run around her,” Suiter said. “And then to go from first to third on a bunt, she did that on her own. We haven’t worked on that in a while.”
Joy got the first Covington hit with an infield single in the fourth but was erased on a fielder’s choice allowing C.J. Browder to reach. Browder stole second but was stranded there.
Robb gave out a walk in the fifth, but Norris threw out the runner trying to steal second.
Joy blooped a two-out double down the left field line in the sixth, but Kelly Gaston caught a fly to keep WHS ahead, 1-0.
In the seventh, Robb struck out the final two batters she faced to ignite a WHS celebration.