CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Perhaps they're too young to know better.
Hurricane and St. Albans in Class AAA and Sissonville in AA each broke through with regional semifinal victories last week and find themselves one win away from the state tournament. Elsewhere Buffalo, the two-time defending state champion in Class A, kept chugging right along.
No. 3 Hurricane hosts No. 8 St. Albans in the AAA Region 4 final Thursday, while unranked Sissonville visits defending state champion and No. 3 Wayne in AA Region 4 and No. 1 Buffalo hosts No. 8 Doddridge County in Class A Region 4. There is a break between the semis and finals because of statewide testing that begins today. (See Page 2B for regional finals pairings.)
The Redskins (29-6) are in rarified air, winning their first regional semifinal in school history behind a starting lineup that features four sophomores and two freshmen. Hurricane also set a school record for wins for the second straight year.
Some of that inexperience has surfaced as the Redskins have committed 18 errors in their last four games, but each time they have used their bats to make up for the gaffes, pounding out 43 hits, including five home runs, and scoring 33 runs.
Hurricane fell behind No. 2 Cabell Midland, which had beaten the Redskins the last two meetings, 3-0 in the first inning before battling back and then hanging on for the 6-5 win. Sophomore Emily Davis, the No. 7 hitter, belted a two-out, two-run single to give Hurricane the lead for good, 4-3, in the third and freshman Maddie Hebb followed with a two-run double for a 6-3 advantage as the last three batters in the lineup finished 4 for 9 with five RBIs.
"We know we have to play strong,'' said Davis. "We know that offense will always come through. We hit strong from one to nine. We were the underdogs all year and it feels really good to advance.''
"We know we need to pick ourselves up offensively if we make errors,'' added Redskins sophomore Courtney Rogers, who leads the Kanawha Valley with 11 home runs. "We just try to keep our heads together and stay focused on the game. We have confidence in every single person.''
Hurricane has handled SA with ease during the regular season, winning 9-0 and 13-0.
"St. Albans has a team that can come here and win,'' said Redskins fifth-year coach Josh Caldwell. "We can't come out and say we've beaten them twice."