Lady Lions capture Regional championship
Manila took home the 3A Regional Softball Tournament championship with a 4-0 shutout victory over Corning Tuesday afternoon at Tuckerman.
Senior right-hander Kimberly Wise went the distance, firing a five-hitter, striking out seven Lady Bobcats while issuing only three walks to gain the win.
Manila got all the runs it would need in the first inning. Freshman Kristen Wise led off the game with a base hit and Kimberly Wise led followed with another single. Both runners would come around to score on a pair of RBI groundouts, giving the Lady Lions an early 2-0 lead.
Manila got two more insurance runs in the sixth inning thanks to a pair of RBI bunts off the bats of Peyton Joyner and Shelby Wallace. Leigha Woody scored the first run of the inning after reaching base on an error. Leslie Stanfill doubled and scored giving the Lady Lions a 4-0 lead.
Rachel George took the loss for Corning, who dropped to 13-10 on the year. George allowed only four hits and two earned runs while striking out three Lady Lions. George was a perfect 3-3 at the plate and finished the tournament 9-10 over three games.
"We played very good fundamental ball," said Manila coach Jeff Priest. "We didn't get a lot of hits, but we played small ball and got our runs in. I thought Peyton Joyner came up big today. She made a great defensive play to double off a runner and also came up with a big RBI."
"Kimberly Wise pitched a great game," continued Priest. "She came up with big pitches when she needed them. I thought we had great effort. I am very proud of the girls. We are looking forward to going to Parkers Chapel. We are trying to make history by winning a state tournament game, something Manila has never accomplished. We think we can make a good run in the tournament."
"It feels great to win Regionals," said Kimberly Wise. "We haven't done this since we were freshmen. It means a lot more being a senior. This will be something that will be in the record books forever. I'm excited about going to state, but I'm nervous because we've been knocked out in the first round each time before. But I think we can make a good run this year."
The Lady Lions improved to 19-3 overall with the victory. All three Manila losses have come by only one run. Manila will open state tournament play Friday afternoon at 3:30 against Elkins, the fourth seeded team from Region 1.