RIPLEY - Ripley's talented junior Chelsey Hager excels as an outfielder, the occasional infielder and lately has flexed her muscles as a stand out pitcher for coach Ken Swisher's softball team.
Versus South Charleston last week, Hager went toe to toe with All State hurler Alli Burdette. Hager was unjustly saddled with a loss in a 1-0 game that saw her give up only one hit over seven innings. The Black Eagles plated a run in that final inning to take the game away from Ripley.
Hager and the tenth ranked Lady Vikings (10-3) got the chance for redemption versus a tough and gritty No. 4 ranked AAA Saint Albans (15-3) team on Friday night and they didn't disappoint their legion of fans at Lady Viking Park.
Hager fanned 10 Lady Dragon hitters while surrendering only two earned runs over seven innings to lead Ripley to a thrilling 6-4 victory.
With the score knotted at 2-2 in the fifth, Meghan Brannon blew the game wide open for the Lady Vikings when she mashed a double for Ripley that sparked the team to plate four runs in the frame.
Two pitches later, Brannon was injured at third base when she slipped rounding the bag, fell and unfortunately, she broke a bone in her wrist and will be lost for an undertermined time. This is a heartbreaking blow to the team and for Brannon, who was having a fine junior season (hitting .550 in 2013).
Hager got some help from her friends in the hitting department. Kelsey Moore was 1-for-4 with an RBI, Ashley Mellinger went 3-for-4, Sapphire Parsons scored two runs and served as a courtesy runner, Hager helped her own cause going 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored, Dusti Fisher had an RBI and scored a run, Hannah Ford was 1-for-2 with a stolen base.
The Lady Vikes return to action at home on Wednesday as they host Hurricane.