After starting out a busy week of softball with a rugged 2-1 loss at Parkersburg South Monday (4/19) night, coach Casie Lanham’s # 2 state ranked AAA Ripley High Lady Vikings snapped back with a sense of purpose by taking three straight end-of-the week games over the likes of Nitro, Capital, and Parkersburg High to run their season mark to a sparkling 23-3.


After starting out a busy week of softball with a rugged 2-1 loss at Parkersburg South Monday (4/19) night, coach Casie Lanham’s # 2 state ranked AAA Ripley High Lady Vikings snapped back with a sense of purpose by taking three straight end-of-the week games over the likes of Nitro, Capital, and Parkersburg High to run their season mark to a sparkling 23-3.

Next up for Lanham’s ladies is the Mountain State Athletic Conference (MSAC) tournament which began Tuesday, with RHS taking on St.Albans in the second game of a top four team format that begins with Lincoln County battling Cabell Midland at 6:00 p.m. The winners and losers of Tuesday’s games squared off 24 hours later (yesterday, Wednesday)in the championship and consolation games again at St.Albans.

Ripley could muster only three hits in the loss to sectional foe, Parkersburg South. They did produce a first inning run on a lead-off walk to Carly Caldon (she also walked and stole a base in the third) and Ryne Hill’s run-scoring double. South managed a single score in the fourth on a pair of hits around a wild pitch by Lady Viking all-stater Ally Southall.

The Lady Patriots got what would be the winning run courtesy of a pair of Lady Viking errors in the bottom of the fifth. That run came after a play at home plate that forced a groggy Caldon to the sidelines and PSHS being given the run despite what seemed to be an unnecessarily violent collision. Southall went the distance and was saddled with the loss while scattering six hits, striking out seven, walking two, and allowing one earned run.

Besides her RBI double, Hill also had a sixth inning single for the locals. Breanna Ratliff singled in the first, stole a base, and walked in the sixth, but she was stranded on the bases where Ripley left eight runners on the night.

Ripley rebounded somewhat on Wednesday at Nitro with a closer than anticipated 2-1 triumph over the Lady Wildcats. Southall gave up an unearned run in the first frame and then retired 20 of the next 23 hitters she faced in firing a two-hitter and punching out eight.

The Lady Vikes banged out nine hits, but they were only able to produce the two runs. Both of those scores came in the third when Lexy Kessel got things rolling by coaxing her way to first on a walk. Singles by Lindsey Layhew, Hill, and Ratliff plated Kessel and Layhew.

Ratliff had three hits in the game with one being a seventh inning two-bagger. Hill bopped out a pair of singles. Makenzie Hesson doubled in the sixth but was stranded there. Layhew’s base knock and singles by Abby Brannon and Ali Cunningham finished out the batting attack for RHS. Kala Ford and Cunningham each had a stolen base.

Single runs in the fourth and the sixth proved to be the difference in the Lady Vikings 2-0 home victory over Capital Thursday. Cunningham, a ninth grader, was the catalyst on both the offensive and defensive sides for the locals. She went 2-for-2 at the plate with a walk and two stolen bases. She scored Ripley’s first run on Makenzie Hesson’s fourth inning safety. Her fine running catch down the right field line with runners on first and second to end the sixth inning put an abrupt halt to Capital’s only scoring threat of the evening.

Southall was her usual dominant self on the pitching hill. She allowed just two hits (both coming after two outs in the sixth), fanned twelve, and walked only one batter.

Kessel was two-for-three batting in the lead-off spot for Caldon who was still on the sidelines from the South contest. Hill doubled and scored on Brannon’s perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt in the sixth to give Southall an insurance run. Freshman Montana Kershner was one-for-two with a single.

With Caldon back in the line-up on Friday at PHS, Ripley got the kick start they needed in a 10-0 six inning affair with the Big Reds. Three runs on four first inning hits pretty much determined the outcome because Southall was overpowering. The fire-balling right-hander struck out the first nine hitters she faced on her way to a one-hit, 11 K performance in five innings. Hannah McComas came on to get the home team in order in the bottom of the sixth and put an end to the MSAC tilt.

Layhew led the Lady Viking offense by going three-for- four, scoring two runs, and knocking in another. Ratliff had a double, a single, and two RBI’s. Caldon was two-of-four in her return to the line-up and scored two runs. Hesson had a single, a double, and touched home plate once. Kessel (a single, run & RBI), Brannon (RBI single), Hill (two run single and a run scored), and McComas (single) also joined in the RHS 13 hit parade.

In the only junior varsity action of the week, Ripley (now 3-5) was a 5-1 winner at Nitro. Paige Barr was on base twice after being hit-by-a-pitch and blasting out a double. She would score one of Ripley’s five runs. McComas had an RBI base rap, and Ali Wilkinson had a sacrifice and a fielder’s choice RBI to show for two at-bats.

Megan Randolph walked, reached on an error, stole a base, and scored two runs. Mikala Martin walked, stole a base, and scored the first run of the JV encounter. Kala Ford hit safely and scored a run with Brittney Larkey tapping home plate for the final run of the night for the Blue and White.

Barr and McComas pitched two innings each. They combined for five strikeouts (three by McComas). Barr set down in order all six hitters she faced.