Lady Vikings open season with win

Mark Martin

There was a drizzle through the four innings of play.

But nothing was going to rain on the parade of Ripley softball after not having season a year ago.

Veteran head coach Ken Swisher saw his Lady Vikings strike for four runs in the bottom of the first inning and never look back in producing a 13-4 season-opening win over Parkersburg South.

Ripley also scored three in the second, two in the third and four more in the fourth.

South had taken an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first and tried to avoid being defeated in mercy-rule fashion (an eight-run lead in five innings) by coming up with two more in the top of the fifth but it wasn’t enough.

Ripley pounded out 11 hits in the victory.

“Wow! What an opening game,” said Swisher, whose team of 2020 was sidelined like all others in West Virginia due to COVID-19. “Our bats came alive right from the start. After Chloe (Shinn, Ripley’s starting pitcher) settled in, we did a lot of good things offensively and defensively in less than ideal conditions.”

Mya Casto had a 3-3 performance at the plate while driving home three runs.

Cassidy Cummings came up with two of Ripley’s hits in a pair of official trips to the plate and scored twice.

Grace Walsh, who sang the national anthem before the game, delivered a big three-run homer for the Lady Vikings and also scored two runs.

Kyra Winter had a hit and two RBI. Shinn had a hit and helped her cause by driving home a run. Eli Hershey had a hit, drove home a run and scored twice while Kaitlyn Swisher drove home a run.

Shinn gave up four hits and two earned runs in her four innings pitching. After the first, she made it tough on South hitters with six strike outs.

Sydney Varney worked the fifth, giving up three hits and two earned runs.

-Ripley’s junior varsity would also score 13 runs to defeat South.

The Lady Vikings exploded for eight runs in the second inning, which led to the win.

Paving the way in the 13-9 victory was freshman Aubrey Haskins who drilled a two-run homer and had a two-run single. Kaitlyn Swisher, Emily King, Kristabelle Carte and Varney each had a pair of hits. Baylee Keeler singled in the game.

Hershey was the winning pitcher, allowing a run on two hits. She struck out three in her two innings of work inside the pitching circle. Sara Stalnaker and King also saw pitching duties in the game.