Two county girls will have stories to tell about champion softball team

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 10, 2001


Friday, August 10, 2001

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – When it’s time to go back to school, some English teacher is going to ask the students to write a story regarding what they did this past summer.

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Ironton’s Carly Isaac and Ashley McCloud and Chesapeake’s Jennifer Rice will have quite a story to tell.

The local trio were members of the West Virginia Express girls fastpitch softball team that won the 16-and-under Class B National Championship.

The tournament was held July 31 through Aug. 5 in Plant City, Fla. The Express had a 33-8 record this season playing in seven other tournaments. They won the Milton, W.Va., Class B national qualifier and also took the West Virginia state championship.

Rice played catcher, Isaac was an outfielder,and McCloud was at first base. The team was coached by Gary Hale, Dave Childers and Pete McCloud, Ashley’s father.

After losing their first game in pool play to the South Carolina Crush, the Express bounced back and won six straight games to stay in the winner’s bracket and win the national title.

The first win was 8-0 over the Florida Blue Diamonds. Then came a 4-2 win over the Florida Lady Shockers, 3-0 shutouts of the Pennsylvania Fury and Massachusetts Blaze, and 2-0 over the Zepher Hills Florida Blaze.

The championship game was a rematch against Zepher Hills and the game was tied 2-2 after seven to force extra innings. The Express scored four times in the eighth to win 6-2 and claim the national championship.