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On to the state tournament for Oak Glen

KEYSER, W.Va. — Next stop, the state tournament.

The Oak Glen softball team struck first against Keyser in Game 3, and thanks to strong pitching performances from Lizzie Kell and Maddie McKay the Golden Bears held on to defeat the Golden Tornado, 4-3, to capture the Class AA Region 1 title Wednesday at Ron Mathias and Friends Field.

“It is significant,” Oak Glen (28-1) head coach Sherrie Garner said. “It is a goal the girls set at the beginning of the season. We wanted to win OVACs, sectionals, regionals and to make it to the state tournament. It is great that we were able to achieve our goal. It is a great accomplishment.

“We have had a lot of success this season. We have played well all year. It means everything. It is great for the girls, and it is great for the community.”

The Golden Bears, who have not won a state title since 1998, have advanced to the state tournament Tuesday and Wednesday at Little Creek State Park. Oak Glen will play Independence (the winner of Region 3) at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday at Rock Field. The state tournament is double elimination.

The Golden Bears last made it to the state tournament in 2017, bowing out in three games. In 2016 the Bears qualified but were out in two games. Oak Glen scored the first three runs against Keyser (28-5), but the Golden Tornado closed to within one run on two occasions before the Golden Bears slammed the door shut thanks to three straight strikeouts by McKay in the bottom of the seventh.

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