Crestview comes away with OVAC title

Special to the Journal Crestview’s softball team captured the OVAC Class 3A title with a 1-0 win over Magnolia on Monday at the I-470 Complex in Wheeling.

WHEELING, W.Va. — It didn’t take long for the Crestview softball program to add an OVAC championship plaque to its trophy case.

In its second year in the conference, the Rebels locked up the OVAC 3A crown by virtue of a 1-0 win over Magnolia on Lisa’s Field at the I-470 Complex on Monday.

It’s just the school’s second overall OVAC title — the first coming this past season in volleyball.

“This is my third year coaching and our second year in the OVAC,” Crestview coach Greg Eskra said. “It’s great.

“We’ve been playing very loose and I told them ‘if they are going to beat us, make them beat us and don’t beat ourselves.’

“We played loose and didn’t have any errors. They are just a fun group to coach.”

The lone run of the contest came in the bottom of the first when leadoff hitter Haley Eskra reached on an error and came around to score on a passed ball.

Crestview (18-4) only notched two hits in the game but as it turned out, they didn’t need any.

“Whoever would have thought it would come down to one run in the first inning on a passed ball,” Eskra said. “This was a pitcher’s dual and (Ashley Tharp) threw a great game for them.”

Magnolia (16-5) had its opportunities but couldn’t capitalize as it stranded six runners on base and had a runner thrown out at third trying to steal in the first.

“We shot ourselves in the first,” Magnolia coach Angela Johnson said. “Take away that first inning and I felt like we could have gone to extra innings for sure.

“But their catcher (Karsyn Moore) has a really nice arm. She caught us there in the first inning, too. That was a big out.”

Kaedyn Sutton struck out six and walked two in the shutout win, while Tharp fanned nine and walked two in a complete game effort.

“Ashley had a really good game,” Johnson said. “I knew they had some good hitters but she kept them off balance. Everything was working for her.”

Sutton is only a freshman and with the help of her sister, Moore, catching behind the plate, they were ready for the big moment.

“Kaedyn is a freshman and her sister is the catcher,” Eskra said. “Those two have played together for six or seven years and I was happy when they came on board as freshmen.

“Kaedyn did a good job and pitched a heckuva game. Being a freshman in a position like this, that’s huge for her.”

M: 0-0-0-0-0-0-0 — 0-6-2

C: 1-0-0-0-0-0-x — 1-2-0

C–Kaedyn Sutton wp (6K, 2BB) and Karsyn Moore.

M–Ashley Tharp lp (9K, 2BB) and Fluharty.