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Potts outduels Eakle in regional semis

by Randall Jett

CORRESPONDENT

ELLENBORO -- Finally! After a week of rain delays, Bridgeport and Ritchie County squared off in their regional semifinal at Ritchie County Monday.

The Indians came out on top, 1-0, in a pitcher's duel that pitted two of the area's most talented hurlers. With the score knotted at 0-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Adrienne Belcastro reached second on an error and then raced around to score when Ritchie again had an errant throw to first on a sacrifice bunt attempt from Erica Rome.

April Potts (15-4) held the Rebel batters to just two hits, while striking out five and walking one. Ritchie's Candace Eakle (12-4) took the loss while only allowing three hits, striking out two and walking none.

"Three years ago, they beat us 1-0 in nine innings. Last year, we beat them 1-0 in seven. Now here we are in the third year with a 1-0 game," Bridgeport coach Lois Pratt said. "(Potts) was so determined. She threw an excellent game for us. We've got a great bunch of girls, and they were pumped up so high."

Potts had the only extra base hit of the game with a triple to lead off the fifth inning. But some excellent Ritchie fielding kept courtesy runnner Ashley McCauley on third.

Ritchie did mount one serious scoring threat in the top of the fifth when it loaded the bases on two hits and a walk. But the attempted rally was snuffed out when Megan Griffith hit a pop foul to first baseman Libby Reep.

"We've got so many young girls playing," Ritchie coach Dave Mossor said. "They just choked up a little bit. All year, we've had difficulty hitting, but Bridgeport's defense was just excellent. Candace was on. They weren't making good contact with her pitching. She just got shook up and overthrew two, and that was the game."

Bridgeport now moves on to the regional finals, where they will face Berkeley Springs at 4:30 p.m. today at Anker Field in Morgantown.

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