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Bridgeport needs three wins for title

by Frank Tate


(May 29) SUMMERSVILLE -- Bridgeport was still in the running for a state championship this morning.

But it will take a lot of doing today for the Indians to do it.

After starting off the state tournament with a 12-1 win over Martinsburg in the first round, the Indians lost 2-1 to Point Pleasant, which knocked Bridgeport into the Class AAA losers bracket.

That means Bridgeport had to beat Cabell Midland at 8:30 a.m. this morning to win the losers bracket -- and then take two in a row from Point Pleasant to win the title in the tournament at Nicholas County Veterans Memorial Park.

And beating Point Pleasant just once would be a chore for any team in the state, at least right now.

That's because Point Pleasant (29-3) may have the hottest pitcher in the state in Courtney Roberts.

Still, the Indians were confident they could get the job done.

"We will definitely be ready tomorrow morning and this team will be up for the challenge," said Bridgeport's ace, junior Beth Gus.

Added coach Lois Pratt, "the beauty of this is we are in the state tournament and we've come further than anyone in the area thought we would.

"But we'll be up bright and early (today) and ready to play."

Roberts, who helped Point Pleasant upset Class AAA No. 1 Cabal Midland earlier in the day, allowed the Indians just one run, in the bottom of the first.

Alyssa Pasternak started the inning with a single to center.

Jennifer Rome followed with a double to right to put runners at second and third. Freshman Erica Rome then singled to left to score Pasternak.

Then came one of the key plays of the game.

Jennifer Rome tried to score as the relay throw was high, only to be thrown out at the plate by second baseman Melissa Smith.

The Indians (21-8) would muster little offense after that.

Roberts gave up one more hit, to Shannon Curry with two outs in the second, before retiring 16 of the last 17 batters and the last 14 in a row.

"I was pretty relaxed out there on the mound," Roberts said.

"I knew I had eight other people out there helping me and I did my job and the defense did theirs."

While Roberts was stifling the Indians, Point Pleasant came up with the timely hits it needed.

Janie Northup tied the game in the third as she singled in Smith.

Point Pleasant took the lead in the fifth as Smith, who was the offensive catalyst with a 3-for-4 day and two runs scored, bunted for an infield hit.

Smith then stole second and scored on Jessica Rulen's single up the middle.

Bridgeport's Pratt was upbeat after the close loss.

"We just made a couple mental mistakes and Point Pleasant capitalized on them," Pratt said.

Bridgeport dismantled Martinsburg despite getting just four hits.

The Indians took advantage of eight Bulldog errors as they scored a run in all six innings played.

A four-run outburst in the second broke the game wide open for Bridgeport.

Guzzi earned the victory with a solid performance.

The junior righthander went six innings, surrendering just five hits while striking out 10.

Erica Rome, Guzzi, Lindsay Gum and Amanda Stanley all had RBIs.