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Perfect Golden Bears hoist sectional trophy

McKay homers, pitches Oak Glen to 26-0, Section 1 title over Weir High

CELEBRATING — The Oak Glen softball team celebrates winning the Class AA Region 1 Section 1 title over Weir High on Tuesday. -- Joe Catullo

NEW MANCHESTER — Tuesday marked the third time arch-rivals Oak Glen and Weir High squared off this season, and this time had major implications for the Class AA Region 1 Section 1 softball championship.

The first two times — including Saturday — the Red Riders led after five innings but could not hold on. This time around, the Golden Bears made sure the third time would not be the charm.

On the strength of Maddie McKay’s arm and bat, every Bear contributed, played nearly perfect in all phases and cruised to a 12-0, five-inning victory for their first sectional title since 2017.

“It feels great just knowing how hard we’ve worked to come this far,” Oak Glen catcher Sarah Brown said. “Hopefully, we can carry this and win at states. We really work together as a team to be 26-0.

“We wanted to be one and done and move on. We didn’t want to play a second game and face them a fourth time.”

Next up for the Golden Bears is a best-of-3 regional series with Keyser. The first game will be on the road Monday, then back at Oak Glen Tuesday. If a third game is necessary, it will occur on Wednesday at Keyser.

As for the Section 1 championship, McKay put forth another solid performance.

In the circle, she went the distance and allowed just three hits, no walks and struck out seven to give her 206 on the season. At the plate, she reached base all four times with two hits and a pair of free passes.

“We wanted to start Maddie — there was no question about that,” Oak Glen head coach Sherrie Garner said. “Our girls were ready to play. We simply told them to do what they do well. Maddie did what she always does.

“Everybody hit, and everybody contributed. We had to come out quick, clean up any defensive errors and just make it our game.”

McKay jumpstarted the offense in the bottom of the first with a one-out two-run homer to right-center field. After that, Makayla Zoellers delivered an RBI single, Amber Moore drove a run home on a groundout and Olivia Munoz scored on a throwing error for a 5-0 lead.

During a three-run second, McKay produced a run-scoring base knock, Munoz brought one home on a groundout and Zoellers ripped an RBI single.

Weir High (22-9) starter Chesney Tice was pulled after two frames, allowing five earned runs on eight hits. Madison Angus tossed the next two innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits and three walks. The Bears did not strike out, while the Red Riders committed three errors.

“It was a bad day to have a bad day. We didn’t play well in any phase of the game, and that hasn’t happened to us since one of the Morgantown games early in the season,” Weir High coach John Leary said. “We really, really didn’t help Chesney early on by not making any plays on defense, and she’s a girl that relies on the defense because she’s not the fastest thrower.

“But, I’m very proud of the kids for everything that has gone on this year. The resiliency they showed and the ability to adapt and keep playing hard was great to see. This is the most wins this program has had in a very long time. Hats off to Oak Glen for keeping their streak going.”

Oak Glen officially put the game out of reach with four more runs in the fourth. Emma Renfro crossed home on an error, Sarah Brown skied a sacrifice fly and Munoz lined a two-run single.

“Weir happened to play (Monday), and that hurt them,” Garner said. “They were dealing with some untimely injuries, but they’re a good ball club. They would be fighting in any section for a title.”

The Red Riders defeated East Fairmont, 10-2, in six innings Monday following a nearly three-hour rain delay where they switched to another field. They also were dealing with two injuries.

The latest was No. 3 hitter Mallory Rosnick with a wrist injury sustained over the weekend. Talented shortstop and leadoff hitter Isabella Aperfine has been sidelined for the past month with a season-ending arm injury sustained against Brooke.

“I’m not making any excuses, but I really would have liked to play this with my full team,” Leary said. “The old saying is it is what it is, next man up, although I don’t have a deep depth.

“We’re getting everyone back except for Bella, Alexis (Adams) and Arianna (Miller). It’s going to take a chunk out of us, but we have a lot coming back.”

All but one Bear tallied at least one hit. McKay, Brown, Munoz and Zoellers each had two hits and combined for nine RBIs.

Oak Glen 12, Weir High 0

Weir High 0-0-0 0-0 — 0 3 3

Oak Glen 5-3-4 0-x — 12 12 1

WEIR HIGH (22-9): Tice (LP, 2IP, 8R (5ER), 8H, 0BB, 0K), Angus (2IP, 4R (3ER), 4H, 3BB, 0K) and Aperfine. Aperfine D; Tice S; Baker S.

OAK GLEN (26-0): McKay (WP, CG, 0R, 3H, 0BB, 7K) and Sa. Brown. Sy. Brown S; Kell S; McKay S, HR, 3RBIs; Sa. Brown S, D, RBI; Munoz 2S, 3RBIs; Zoellers 2S, 2RBIs; Moore RBI; Smith S; Renfro S.

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