Eight area tennis standouts head to states
From Staff reports
The Big 10 Conference will send eight tennis players to the state championships after they won singles and doubles finals at the Class AA-A Region I championships at Robert C. Byrd on Wednesday.
Bridgeports Tommy Joyce and Kenan Bell won the No. 1 and 2 singles titles, respectively, then combined to win the No. 1 doubles title.
Graftons Eric Molina won the No. 4 singles title and combined with Zane Cartwright for the No. 3 doubles title. Jonathan Marshall and Derek McDaniels of Grafton won the No. 2 doubles.
Grafton placed first in the team standings with 29 points. Petersburg was second with 25 points followed by Bridgeport (21), Braxton County (11), Notre Dame (10), Liberty (9) and Lincoln (8).
In girls action, Jennifer Teagarden won the No. 1 singles, before joining with Jennifer Byers to claim the No. 1 doubles championship.
Grafton was second in the girls team standings with 21 points, eight behind Petersburg. Braxton (19) was third followed by Frankfort (17), Bridgeport (13), Liberty (9), Lincoln (7) and Notre Dame (6).
The winners will compete in the state championships on May 13-15 at Watt Powell Park in Charleston.
LINCOLN 18, Lewis County 1: Danny Hardesty
went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs and Clarence Fiber went
3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs in Lincolns five-inning rout.
RITCHIE COUNTY 8, Lincoln 2: Ritchie County scored
four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to help secure the Class AA,
Section IV, Region 2 title.
Huge fifth inning gives Bridgeport victory over SH
by Charles Casey
BRIDGEPORT For four innings South Harrison kept pace with Bridgeport in their Class AA Region II, Section 3 softball game. It took one inning for Bridgeport to change all that. Bridgeport erupted for nine runs in the fifth inning to earn an 11-1 victory on Wednesday.
The contest was a pitchers duel between Bridgeports Beth Guzzi and SHs Clenta Bond for four innings. Guzzi walked five, but was able to keep SH at bay by recording 11 strikeouts.
Beth pitched a pretty good game, Bridgeport coach Lois Pratt said. Weve called her the energizer and theyve called her the little bunny but she is really a workhorse.
Bond limited Bridgeport to just two runs one earned on two hits before the disastrous fifth inning. Bridgeport sent 12 batters to the plate to score nine runs.
Angie Handschumacher started the uprising with an infield hit. Erica Romes infield single and Andrea Romes bunt single loaded the bases with no outs.
Amanda Stanley drew a walk to score Handschumacher before Adrienne Belcastro hit a two-run double to score Erica Rome and pinch-runner Kelley Gray.
One out later, Guzzi and Tara Moore both walked to reload the bases. Jacquelyn Fleece hit a two-run single, and Curry and Handschumacher added RBI singles.
Andrea Rome finished the inning with a two-run infield single scoring Curry and Handschumacher to end the game.
We were really flat at the beginning of the game, Pratt said. I think they were very nervous with this being the beginning of tournament play and also Senior Night. Bridgeport (20-5) took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on an RBI ground out from Erica Rome.
Bridgeport added a run in the fourth when courtesy runner Jaclyn Ross stole second and third base before scoring on an error.
Casey Davissons fifth-inning hit scored Bobbi Jo Devericks to cut the South Harrison deficit to 2-1 before fateful bottom half of the inning. South Harrison (15-6) came in with a 12-game winning streak. Its last loss was also to Bridgeport.
We just did not take advantage of the walks in the early innings, South Harrison coach Gennie Reesman said. We would get them around in scoring position, but couldnt get any hits to bring them home.
For us to be that close to them like we were heading into the fifth inning is an accomplishment, Reesman said. They had put us out very quickly in the two regular season games.
Bridgeport and South Harrison battle again today in the double-elimination tournament. Game time set for 5 p.m.
Nehlen: Porters now in better spirits
by Chris Errington
When Monongalia County Magistrate Alan Lindamood dismissed felony charges against West Virginia University starting free safety Jerry Porter on Tuesday, it ended one of the darkest periods in the players life.
Still, those who know Porter best say even a summer of healing may not be enough to bring the once permanent smile back to his face.
You could tell it really bothered the kid, WVU coach Don Nehlen said. His grades went down. He couldnt concentrate on anything. He was a mess.
Nehlen said hes seen the fourth-year player from Washington, D.C. at his best, like when he intercepted a team-leading five passes, good enough for 13th nationally last season. But Nehlen also said hes seen Porter at his worst.
I came into my office one day and he was already here at 7:30 a.m. shaking like a leaf, Nehlen said. He kept telling me I didnt do this coach. Why do they keep doing this to me?
Porter was accused of trying to sell compact discs and cassette tapes stolen from WWVU-FM, the campus radio station, to the Discount Den, a Morgantown radio store, on Jan. 30. But the charges were dropped when Lindamood concluded the property was worth only $760, an amount too small to justify a charge of receiving stolen property. A security videotape from the music store was too poor in quality to make a positive identification of the suspect.
Porter had told Nehlen he was at a party at the time of the incident. I knew he didnt do it because he had so many other players that were with him at the time, Nehlen said. Ive talked with him since (Tuesdays decision) and he seems in better spirits.
Prosecutors are reportedly considering whether to refile the misdemeanor petit larceny charges against Porter, a charge used in cases involving less than $1,000 worth of property.
WVU secondary coach Tony Pierce said he hoped Tuesdays decision would signify the end of the case against Porter, but said regardless it would always be in the back of his mind.
People dont realize that some of our young guys grow up in rough situations and feel like theyre on their own, Pierce said.
You could tell it bothered him a great deal during spring drills. But I think he handled it as well as any young man without family support could have handled it. At least thats the way Porter made it seem, said starting outside linebacker and friend Chris Edmonds.
Edmonds said Porter would skip trips to WVUs Mountainlair to avoid stares and snickers from other students. Its a whole lot worse when something like this happens to a player because everyone knows you, Edmonds said.
Edmonds was linked to a similar incident a year ago when he received a gift bought with a stolen credit card. Charges were later dropped against him, but Edmonds said for athletes in the spotlight even being vindicated in court doesnt always prove your innocence to fans.
Everything that happens blows up in your face no matter what you do. The only thing you can do is not let other people see things are worrying you, Edmonds said.
Attempts to reach Porter were unsuccessful.
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