Lady Viking softball racking up the wins

Mark Martin
Pictured, left to right, are Lady Viking softball seniors Lainey Shouldis, Emilee Jordan, Grace Walsh, Kyra Winter and Chloe Shinn.

With the odd season of scheduling, thanks to COVID-19, Kenny Swisher’s Lady Viking softball team is squeezing in games at every turn.

The Lady Vikings were sporting an 11-2 record as they started off the current week.

With the season of 2020 wiped out because of the pandemic, Swisher feels his team has displayed quite a maturity by embracing the moments of 2021.

“I just keep reminding the girls to enjoy every bit of it in getting the opportunity to play,” said the veteran leader, who guided Ripley to a Class AAA state title in 2009. “We are pretty loaded offensively and our defense is coming along. We are starting to hold teams down.

“This team just shows a lot of power and determination,” Swisher added. “The kids are thriving. It’s a joy to see them play.”

And certainly win.

Ripley 9-Hurricane 6

As a kid, anyone who enjoyed going to the ball field loved getting involved in a game of home run derby.

Ripley was playing that for real against a Hurricane program that has produced five straight Class AAA state championships.

The Lady Vikings drilled four over the fence, including two solo shots by Elli Hershey. Those two long balls upped the sophomore’s total to five for the season.

Senior Kyra Winter delivered her second of the year, a three-run shot. Winter also had a run-scoring single in the win.

Cassidy Cummings, a sophomore, had a three-hit day, which featured her third home run of the year (a two-run blast). Cummings’ day also included three RBI.

Kaitlyn Swisher, a freshman, had a pair of singles in the contest and scored three of Ripley’s 11 runs.

Senior Grace Walsh rounded out the Lady Viking hit parade with a double in the fifth inning.

From the defensive side, senior Chloe Shinn went three innings, allowing two hits, striking out three and walking one. Freshman Sidney Varney pitched four innings and gave up six hits. She struck out two and walked two.

As Hurricane attempted to rally in the seventh, a sparkling defensive play by shortstop McKenna Hall prevented that from happening. Hall dove full-length towards second base to snag a hard-hit grounder. From there she was able to toss the ball while flat on the ground to Swisher at second to force the out and keep Hurricane from scoring another run.

Ripley 6-John Marshall 5

In the first of a twinbill with John Marshall at Lady Viking Park, Ripley plated two runs in the bottom of the first and four more in the last of the third to build a commanding 6-0 lead.

Despite a furious comeback by JM, those runs would stand up in giving Ripley the 6-5 win.

Swisher and Cummings each drilled a home run for Ripley. Swisher started the game with a shot over the left field fence and ended the contest with a defensive gem — snagging a liner at second base off the bat of Ava Blake and then stepping on the bag for the game-closing double play.

Swisher was 2-for-4 in the win while driving home three runs.

Cummings’ shot came in the third.

Ripley had eight hits in the game.

Winter had two hits, including a double. Alaliyah Baldwin, Hall and Kristabell Carte also had base hits.

Pitching for Ripley was Shinn, who went the distance. She allowed 10 hits and had a strike out.

John Marshall 5-Ripley 4

In an extra-inning affair, the Lady Monarchs pulled out a 5-4 win in handing Ripley just its second loss.

Ripley was plagued in the contest by leaving runners on base — nine in all.

Like the first game, Swisher got Ripley going with a solo home run.

She put down a perfect suicide squeeze in the second to bring home Varney staking Ripley to a 2-0 edge.

But as they did in the first encounter, JM didn’t go away. The Lady Monarchs scored four runs over the next three innings.

Ripley evened things in the bottom of the sixth with two runs before John Marshall’s Sophia Adkins produced the game-winner in the top of the eighth with a homer.

John Marshall outhit Ripley, 13-11, in improving to 11-5.

Hershey had three singles for Ripley while Carte had two base hits.

Walsh, Jenna Farrell, Mya Casto and Winter each had base hits.

Varney and Hershey each pitched four innings for Ripley, combining to strike out five and walk five.

Ripley 11-Point Pleasant 3

Pushing across nine runs in the first inning, Ripley never looked back to easily down the Lady Big Blacks.

Walsh drilled three hits, two of which were doubles to lead the offense. She also drove home two runs.

Cummings and Hall both had two hits and brought home a pair of runs. Hershey had two hits and helped plate a run. Winter had a hit and two RBI. Baldwin delivered a hit and Varney was credited with bringing in a run.

Shinn gave up nine hits and struck out three in three innings of work. Varney pitched one and two thirds.

Ripley 10-Greenbrier East 0

Cummings, Winter, Hershey and Hall all belted home runs in the five-inning, 10-0, win over the Lady Spartans.

Winter had a two-hit day and three RBI. Hershey and Hall also collected another hit and drove home two runs.

Baldwin had two hits and a pair of runs batted in. Swisher also had a hit.

Carte in right field and Hershey in center made two spectacular defensive plays in the showdown.

Shinn hurled four innings. She gave up five hits, struck out four and walked one. Varney pitched one inning and allowed a hit.

The junior varsity took a commanding 16-1 decision in a three-inning game. Swisher and Farrell had doubles. Farrell drove home two runs. Hall also had two hits. Sara Stalnaker drove home two runs on one hit.

Ripley 12-Roane County 4

In a 12-4 win over Roane, Swisher went 3-for-3 and plated three runners. Walsh was 2-for-2 with two runs batted in. She also stole three bases in the victory.

Winter had a double and two RBI while Cummings’ lone hit of the game brought home two. Varney, Casto and Shinn each had hits.

Shinn had five strike outs in three innings inside the pitching circle. Varney had one K in two innings of work.

Ripley 16-Parkersburg South 11

In a high-scoring matchup with South, Ripley survived due in part to a pair of five-run innings (fourth and sixth). Walsh and Cummings led an offensive attack of 23 hits with four each. Both had a double with Cummings driving home four base runners.

Hall had three hits, including a pair of doubles and three runs batted in. Hershey also had three hits, including a double and a RBI.

Shinn, Carte, Winter and Baldwin all had two hits. Baldwin had three RBI while Shinn and Carte drove in one.

Varney also had a hit.

Shinn pitched four innings giving up seven hits. She struck out three with no walks. Varney worked three and allowed eight hits.

Nitro 5-Ripley 4

Ripley’s bats were limited to five hits in a close, 5-4, loss to Nitro.

Swisher had a homer and three RBI in the defeat. Cummings had a double and a RBI. Winter, Hershey and Hall also had hits. Hall’s was a double.

Shinn went the distance striking out four, walking two and giving up nine hits.

Ripley 4-Meigs 1

The Lady Vikings plated two runs in the bottom of the first, which proved to be enough for the win over the Lady Marauders. Ripley added two more in the last of the third.

Baldwin had two hits and a pair of RBI to lead the offense. Swisher had a double. Winter, and Cummings also had hits. Swisher and Cummings each drove home a run.

Varney pitched five innings, giving up three hits, striking out three and walking two. Shinn pitched two with four strike outs and one hit.