Charleston baseball readies for first regional tournament berth

UC pitcher Adam Jafine and the rest of the Golden Eagles will play the first NCAA Division II regional playoff game in program history Thursday at Millersville. Courtesy photo | UC Athletics

By: Derek Redd, Sports Editor | Posted: May 16, 2018 | Source: WV Gazette-Mail

The University of Charleston baseball team has come a long way since head coach Andrew Wright took over. The Golden Eagles won 13 games in 2015, the year before he arrived, then won 16 in his inaugural season of 2016.

That win total jumped to 34 last season, with an appearance in the Mountain East Conference tournament title game. UC is at 34 wins this season, but with an MEC tournament crown to boot.

That conference win has put the Golden Eagles (34-21) into their first NCAA postseason berth, a 3 p.m. Thursday Atlantic Region game as a No. 7 seed at No. 2-seeded Millersville (34-18).

But Wright doesn’t want his team to look at this feat as crossing a finish line. He’d rather it see Thursday’s game as an important stop on a longer path.

“When I accepted the job, I didn’t want to be mediocre,” Wright said. “I thought it was an opportunity to put the program on a national stage. This is the early goings of something we hope is long-lasting.”

The plan began when he arrived from Concord in the summer of 2015. From the start, Wright set expectations for players. There would be an expectation for the way those wearing a UC uniform would go about their business on the field. Wright set a threshold of expectations. If that threshold wasn’t met, there would be consequences, not punitive, but corrective.

“They’re corrective consequences to make sure people realigned their expectations with what’s supposed to happen in a championship program,” Wright said. “Our first meeting in 2015, the very first thing out of my mouth was, ‘We want to be a championship program, and we’re going to start acting like it.’ ”

Wright said the plan broke down into two prongs — process and people. And finding the right people was paramount. Everyone had to buy in, not just those Wright was recruiting, but those already on the team who were getting introduced to a new system.

Many of those UC players with important roles on this team — like sophomores Austin Henrich, Jonathan Carr and Colby Johnson and junior Gianfranco Morello — had committed to the team during its struggles. And Wright was pleased to see veterans like Tristan Fields, Caleb Kinder, Danny Hoyer and Justin Nixon show the quality of character to accept and work hard in a new environment.

“To me, the special thing is where we came from, where we’re going and how we’re getting there, as far as we have an incredible group of teammates. They’re a group of guys that have genuine care for each other and really want to see this program succeed above their individual needs.”

There was some personal growth for Wright that also has helped UC’s program move along. He attributes much of the team’s success to hitting coach Thomas Stallings and pitching coach Casey Hodges. There came a point that Wright decided he had to fire himself as hitting and pitching coach, and said Stallings and Hodges’ contributions have been essential.

“There are days that I joke — it’s half-joke and half-truth — that I don’t feel like I’m doing anything,” Wright said. “There are days that I can step back and Thomas can tell me what’s going on with the offense and Casey tells me what’s going on with the pitchers.

“That was very difficult to do because, early in my coaching career, I was the micro-manager of all micro-managers,” he added. “To be able to step away from it and see this happen has been huge for my own personal development, and has been big for the program’s development.”

The Golden Eagles enter a tough environment Thursday. Millersville, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference tournament runner-up, has made the regional round the last six seasons and won the Atlantic in 1998, 2011 and 2016. Wright doesn’t want a regional appearance to be the program’s apex, so while the Golden Eagles are grateful to reach this level, they don’t want their season to end at this point.

“We have an opportunity to play another baseball game, and I’m expecting to win it,” Wright said. “And I’m expecting to win the next one after that and after that. This is another opportunity to play baseball games and allow our level of preparedness to show through.”

Contact Derek Redd at 304-348-1712 or Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.

Softball Secures Highest Win Total Since 2009 by Advancing in OVC Tournament with 4-1 Win Over SEMO

By: Ted McCoart, Morehead State Athletic Media Relations | Posted: May 10, 2018 | Source: MSU Eagles


OXFORD, Ala. – The eighth-seeded Morehead State Softball team knocked off fourth-seeded Southeast Missouri 4-1 to avoid elimination and advance in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship Tournament on Thursday evening at Choccolocco Park. (more…)

Softball caps weekend with sweep of Tennessee Tech

Allison Rager improved to 9-8 and threw 5.2 innings.

Posted: April 30, 2018 | Source: The Morehead News


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Morehead State softball team recorded a doubleheader sweep of Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee Tech by scores of 2-1 and 7-3 on Sunday afternoon at Tech Softball Field.

The victories moved the Eagles to 26-16 overall and 7-9 in the OVC. Tech falls to 16-31 overall and 7-13 in conference play. The sweep also leaps Morehead State over the Golden Eagles for the eighth spot in the conference standings, which is important as the season begins to wind down as the top eight teams make the OVC postseason tournament.

The game-two win also marked the 100th win for the Eagles’ senior class which was honored last Sunday at University Field prior to games against UT Martin.


Senior left-handed ace Chelsea McManaway came away victorious in a pitcher’s duel against Tennessee Tech’s Taylor Waldrop in the day’s first game. McManaway stifled the Golden Eagles in the batter’s box in the complete-game win as she struck out 12 batters and only gave up four hits and one walk.

The Eagle bats gave McManaway the lead before she threw her first pitch though by taking advantage of a pair of Tech mistakes in the top half of the first inning. Senior leadoff hitter Taylor Wheeler was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and then stole third base before senior Robyn Leighton stepped to the plate and singled up the middle to drive her home and give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

Tennessee Tech tied it up in the third inning with an RBI double by freshman Sydney Love-Baker with two outs, but McManaway answered back with a strikeout to end the inning and strand Love-Baker on second.

In the sixth inning Morehead State regained the lead when senior Ellen Barrettknocked a one-out double off the right-center field fence, then was advanced to third on a single by senior Robyn Leighton and finally brought home when junior Allison Rager slapped the first pitch of her at-bat up the middle to score the go-ahead run. That proved to be all the Eagles needed.

Leighton and Wheeler both had 2-for-3 days with Leighton collecting the one RBI in the first. Senior Kylie Holton, Barrett, and Rager each had one hit apiece, giving Morehead State seven total in the contest. Barrett’s lone hit was the double that led to the go-ahead run and Rager’s only hit going as the clutch single that drove that run in.

The win improved McManaway to 16-7 and marked her 13thgame this season with double-digit strikeouts. The Golden Eagles’ right-hander Waldrop was hung with the complete-game loss, making her 10-11 for the year.


Despite falling behind 2-0 after the first inning, Morehead State rallied and exploded offensively for seven runs on 10 hits to finish off the two-game sweep of the Golden Eagles.

Sophomore outfielder Allison Davis picked up her first and second RBI of the season in the second inning when she drove home Rager and senior Lindsay Wardto tie the game up at 2-2. In the third frame, the Eagles took the lead for good on a sacrifice fly RBI by Leighton to take the 3-2 advantage.

Several miscues by Tennessee Tech in the fourth helped Morehead State add two more runs to its lead. Freshman Kalle Coleman, in a pinch-hitting role, singled up the middle and then advanced to second on a passed ball during senior Hannah Murphy’s second at-bat of the game. Murphy peppered an infield single to advance Coleman to third and then attempted to steal second, which led to the TTU catcher sailing the throw-out attempt into center field bringing Coleman across for the score. Another error by the home squad during senior Lindsay Ward’s trip to the plate moved Murphy to third before junior Aubrey Bennett singled her home with a two-out poke.

Tech added a run in the sixth to make it 5-3 heading into the final frame, but McManaway entered and recorded the final out of the inning to halt the home team’s comeback bid.

Morehead State polished off the game in the seventh by adding two more runs to its lead. An RBI double by Rager scored Barrett, who led off the inning with a single and then Rager, who advanced to third on the throw to the plate on the double, scored on a wild pitch during the next at-bat to extend the Eagles’ lead to 7-3.

Rager, who also was awarded the victory in the pitcher’s circle, finished the game 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, one RBI, and two runs scored. Barrett was 2-for-4 with two singles while Bennett, Leighton, Coleman, Murphy, and Davis all finished with one hit. Bennett and Leighton accounted for the other RBI, while Davis plated two runners with her second-inning single.

In the circle, Rager improved to 9-8 and threw 5.2 innings, giving up just one earned run on six hits. McManaway picked up her second save of the season after entering the game in the sixth and getting the final four outs of the game. Sophomore Kayla Hughes was the losing pitcher for TTU in the contest and fell to 5-11 for the season.


Morehead State plays its final home games on Tuesday against in-state OVC foe Murray State. The Racers are 15-33 and most recently split games with SIUE at home on Sunday. The games will get underway at 1 p.m. at University Field.

Softball Splits a Pair of Close Games Against Jacksonville State

Robyn Leighton pictured above.

By: Ted McCoart, Morehead State Athletic Media Relations | Posted: April 28, 2018 | Source: Morehead State


OXFORD, Ala. – After dropping a 1-0 decision in the day’s first game, seniors Kylie Holton and Robyn Leighton stamped game two with solo home runs to propel the Morehead State softball team to a 3-0 victory in Saturday afternoon’s finale with Jacksonville State at Choccolocco Park.

The split gives Morehead State a 24-16 record overall and a 5-9 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Gamecocks now sport a 27-20 record and are 14-4 in the OVC.


Senior Chelsea McManaway pitched a complete-game gem, striking out 10 batters and allowing only two hits, but an RBI double by Ryann Luna in the fourth frame proved to be all the Gamecocks needed to defeat the left-handed ace.

The Eagles challenged in the top of the seventh with a leadoff single by freshman Paige Scruggs and a walk later by Leighton before a fielder’s choice, a strikeout, and a groundout ended the comeback attempt. Morehead State posted four hits in the contest as Ellen BarrettHannah Murphy, and Cassie Griffin all had singles to go along with Scruggs’ seventh-inning hit.

The Gamecocks’ right-handed pitcher Faith Sims went the distance in the pitcher’s circle for the home squad and was awarded the victory, improving her to 17-7. The loss dropped McManaway to 15-7 on the season while her strikeout total was upped to 214, which tops the OVC.


After being shutout in the game-one pitcher’s duel, Morehead State responded quickly by scoring single runs in the first two innings of game two. Junior Allison Rager‘s RBI single in the first inning and solo home runs by Holton and Leighton in the second and fourth innings proved to be all the Eagles needed.

Rager, who improved to 8-8 in the pitcher’s circle with the complete game shutout, plated Taylor Wheeler in the first inning with a single to give the Eagles a 1-0 advantage. Wheeler, a senior from Catlettsburg, Ky., led off the game with a walk and advanced to second on a single by junior outfielder Aubrey Bennett before scoring the game’s opening run.

In the second frame, Holton wasted no time adding a run to the board for Morehead State, sending a 2-0 pitch into the parking lot over the left-field fence. Leighton followed suit in the sixth with a solo blast of her own over the left-field fence and gave the Eagles their final run.

The right-handed Rager gave up six hits but also struck out six batters while giving up only one walk in her seven innings pitched. The Gamecocks used three pitchers but ultimately Alexis Jimmerson was hung with the loss, dropping her to 7-5, after giving up two runs in one inning of work. Nicole Rodriguez relieved Jimmerson and threw five innings giving up a run before Sims returned to finish the game for JSU.

The Eagles outhit the Gamecocks in game two 8-6 with hits by Bennett, Rager, Leighton, Holton, and Murphy. Holton and Leighton both went 2-for-3 from the plate with singles and home runs. Leighton now has five homers on the season while Holton has blasted three out of the park.


The Eagles travel to Cookeville, Tenn., for an OVC doubleheader with Tennessee Tech Sunday afternoon. The games will get underway at 1 p.m. ET with both being streamed live on the OVC Digital Network.

Softball Drops Two Road Games at West Liberty

Posted: April 14, 2018 | Source: Glenville State Pioneers

Glenville, W.Va. – The GSC Lady Pioneer softball team dropped a two-game series on the road Saturday to the Hilltoppers of West Liberty.

Game one went to the Hilltoppers by a final of 3-1.

The Lady Pioneers recorded just one hit while West Liberty finished with nine hits.

The Hilltoppers jumped out to a 3-0 lead as they scored a run in the fourth and two runs in the fifth.

Glenville State’s lone run came in the top of the seventh Cassidy Taylor doubled down the left field line as she scored Makenna Nickell but GSC fell 3-1.

Ally Brown pitched all 6.0 innings giving up three runs on nine hits with two strike outs.

Cassidy Taylor went 1-for-3 and had the only RBI for the Lady Pioneers.

Game two, also belonged to the Hilltoppers as GSC fell 3-2.

Glenville State out hit West Liberty in game two; the Lady Pioneers finished with six hit but committed four errors while the Hilltoppers had four hits and no errors.

The Lady Pioneers jumped out to a 2-0 lead as they scored two runs Taylor Brumfield singled to right field as Cassidy Taylor and Paranda Uber both crossed the plate.

However, West Liberty would take the lead in the sixth as they scored three runs on three hits as they went to beat GSC, 3-2.

Tori Ward pitched 6.0 innings giving up three runs on four hits with just one strike out.

Taylor Brumfiled went 1-for-3 with two RBI while Kim Ellis and McKenzie Edmonds both finished the game going 2-for-3.

Glenville State (18-24, 6-16) will host Salem University on Monday, April 16 at 2:00 p.m. from the Sue Morris Sports Complex.

Rager’s First No-Hitter Highlights Eagles’ Day In Nashville

By: Ted McCoart | Posted: April 13, 2018 | Source: Morehead State Athletic Media Relations


NASHVILLE – Junior right-handed pitcher Allison Rager tossed her first career no-hitter and helped the Morehead State softball Eagles take one of two games against Belmont Friday afternoon. The memory of a tough 3-2 defeat in the day’s first game was soon forgotten as Rager’s gem in game two resulted in a 3-0 win for Morehead State at E.S. Rose Park.

“Allison threw a great game, and the defense made plays behind her,” said head coach David Williams about his pitcher’s career day.

The head coach was pleased with his team’s total body of work for the day, adding “We hit the ball well all day and just couldn’t get enough runs across in game one. I am extremely proud of the way our team performed and approached today’s games as Belmont is a quality program with quality pitchers.”

Morehead State now sports a record of 20-12 and sits at 3-5 in Ohio Valley Conference play. The Bruins are 22-14 overall and 3-7 in the OVC.


After walking two and hitting one batter to load the bases in the first inning Ragersettled in, got out of the jam, and rode that momentum on her way to complete the historical no-hit performance. Rager, now 6-6 on the season, threw 98 pitches and gave up three walks one free base on the hit batter while striking out three Bruins.

The Eagles got on the board in the sixth inning when Senior Robyn Leighton reached base after being hit by a pitch and senior Kylie Holton got on thanks to an error by the Belmont catcher. That brought senior Hannah Murphy to the plate, and she came up clutch with a two-out, three-run blast over the left-center field fence. The three runs proved to be all the Eagles needed as Rager was untouchable.

Morehead State collected 10 hits in the victory. Senior Taylor Wheeler and junior Aubrey Bennett went 2-for-4 while freshman Paige Scruggs, sophomore Allison DavisRager, Leighton, Holton, and Murphy all had single hits.

Belmont pitcher Alicia Veltri was hung with the loss and dropped to 4-7 this season.


The Eagles dropped game one in walk-off fashion after a pair of Bruins reached base on a walk and a hit by pitch, giving Belmont sophomore Bailey Sims the opportunity to belt a single into the left-center field gap that scored the game’s winning run.

Both teams remained scoreless after the first two innings before the Bruins got three hits and put two runs on the scoreboard in the third. The Eagles answered back though and scored in the fourth and fifth frames on RBI singles by Murphy and senior Ellen Barrett.

Despite picking up the loss and falling to 13-5 on the year, senior left-handed pitcher Chelsea McManaway had a good outing as she allowed only four hits, walked two batters, and struck out six Bruins. Belmont’s ace pitcher Brooklin Lee was awarded with the win and improved her record in the pitcher’s circle to 12-6.

Morehead State finished the day with eight hits against one of the OVC’s best pitchers in Lee. Six Eagles got into the hit column, including 2-for-3 performances by Barrett and Leighton.


The Eagles step away from OVC play and travel to Dayton, Ohio, for midweek games Wednesday at Wright State.

WVU cancels Gold-Blue spring football game

By: Mitch Vingle, Staff Writer | Posted: April 5, 2018 | Source: WV Gazette-Mail

Spring supposedly began back on March 20 in the northern hemisphere.

Yet that’s not what’s reflected by weather forecasts — especially in the Morgantown area.

Many forecasts are calling for snow showers before noon in “Touchdown City,” and that was enough for WVU’s athletic department to cancel Saturday’s 2018 Gold-Blue Spring Football Game scheduled for Milan Puskar Stadium.

“Fan and player safety have to take priority,” said WVU athletic director Shane Lyons via a release. “When you have snow predicted for much of the state, we need to take the utmost caution to assure the safety of our student-athletes, while also avoiding elements that are problematic for our fans. You would expect to not have to worry about snow accumulation in April, but that’s the forecast. After much consideration, we made this decision for the safety of all involved.”

Later on Thursday, Lyons told the Gazette-Mail that “in an ideal scenario we would have been able to hold for an updated forecast” but could not because of the logistics of staging such a game.

The long-running event, which has coincided with the end of spring drills, has been benefiting WVU Medicine Children’s hospital for years. Former Mountaineer coach Don Nehlen first orchestrated the tie-in with the hospital in 1984.

According to Mike Montoro, director of football communications, the Mountaineers practiced on Thursday to conclude drills. While technically WVU had another opportunity to practice, he said the team will participate in the scheduled “Walk the Talk with Dana” fund-raising event and the NCAA views that as an accountable date.

Another factor that may have gone into the decision is the rash of injuries WVU has been experiencing. This week, Mountaineer linebacker Brendan Ferns suffered his third overall career injury and second ACL tear, putting his 2018 season in peril. Prior to that, projected strong-side linebacker starter Quondarius Qualls also suffered an ACL injury.

Overall, it had been a rough couple of weeks for the team and, especially, the defense. Starting nose tackle Lamonte McDougle announced he was transferring. Previously, potential defensive end starter Adam Shuler left as well as reserves Jalen Harvey and Jaleel Fields. Defensive backs Kevin Williams and Fontez Davis were among those to also depart.

The “Walk the Talk with Dana” event, sponsored by United Bank and the Hoss Foundation, along with the Family Resource Center 5K, will still be held Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and the Li’l Mountaineer Kids Dash will still take place at 10 a.m. The events will start at the Puskar Center.

Tickets sold to fans in advance of the spring game will be automatically refunded by the Mountaineer Ticket Office if paid by credit card or check. Fans who paid cash should contact the Mountaineer Ticket Office at 1-800-WVU GAME to initiate their refund process.

Mitch Vingle can be reached at 304-348-4827 or Follow him on Twitter @MitchVingle.

2018 Gold-Blue Radio/TV Game Information

By: Mike Montoro | Posted: April 3, 2018 at 3:48 p.m. | Source: WVU Sports

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University is hosting its annual Gold-Blue Spring Football Game on Saturday, April 7, at 1 p.m., at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Below please find the 2018 Gold-Blue radio and television game Information.

The veteran radio announcing crew of Tony Caridi (play-by-play), Dwight Wallace (analysis) and Jed Drenning (sideline) will call the game action to the listening audience.

The radio broadcast will also be streamed online via leanstream at and via TuneIn and the WVU Gameday apps.

The Gold-Blue Spring Football Game also will be televised across the state of West Virginia once again as part of West Virginia University’s partnership with IMG College.

The television broadcast will kickoff with a special Mountaineer GameDay Gold-Blue pregame show at noon, followed by the game broadcast at 1 p.m.

Nick Farrell will handle the play-by-play duties, and Dale Wolfley will provide analysis. Amanda Mazey will serve as the sideline reporter, and Anjelica Trinone will be an on-site reporter.

The following West Virginia Nexstar Media stations will carry a pregame special and the game.
WBOY-DT2 (ABC) (Clarksburg)
WOWK (Charleston/Huntington)
WTRF (Wheeling/Steubenville)
WVNS Fox 59 (Beckley/Bluefield)
The game will be streamed live online at

Tickets are available in advance for $10 each and can be purchased online at or by calling 1-800-WVU GAME. WVU students will be admitted free with a valid ID.

A portion of the proceeds from the Gold-Blue Game once again will benefit WVU Children’s Hospital. The Mountaineers have donated more than $740,000 to WVU Medicine Children’s during the past 33 years.

Gold-Blue Spring Game Radio Affiliates
Beckley                       WVBD         FM        100.7
Bluefield                      WHIS          AM        1440
Charleston                  WMXE        FM        100.9
Cumberland, MD        WCBC         AM        1270     WCBC         FM        107.1
Fisher                          WELD         FM        101.7
Hinton                          WMTD        FM        102.3
Huntington                   WWQB        FM        102.3
Kingwood                    WKMM       FM        96.7
Lewisburg                   WRON        FM        103.1
Logan                          WVOW        AM        1290     WVOW        FM        101.9
Morgantown                WZST         FM        100.9     WRLF         FM        94.3
Fairmont                      WMMN       FM        95.7     WMMN       AM        920
Martinsburg                WRNR        AM        740     W293 AM   FM        106.5
Mullens                       WKQR        FM        92.7
New Martinsville         WETZ         AM        1330     WYMJ         FM        99.5
Parkersburg                WADC         AM        1050
Ripley                          WCEF         FM        98.3
St. Mary’s                   WJAW         AM        630
Spencer                      WVRC         AM        1400     WVRC         FM        104.7
Sutton – Summersville WDBS         FM        97.1
Summersville              W255BM     FM        98.9
Weirton                        WEIR          AM        1430
Wheeling                     WBBD         AM        1400

MSU softball picks up OVC wins

Ellen Barrett was a perfect 5-for-5 from the plate during the MSU double sweep of Tennessee State.

Posted: April 2, 2018 | Source: The Morehead News

Morehead State (18-8, 2-2 OVC) softball senior infielder Ellen Barrett went a perfect 5-for-5 from the plate during a 6-0 and 2-1 doubleheader sweep of Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee State (3-31, 0-6) Saturday afternoon at University Field. (more…)