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Rock Valley wins state title, trip to regionals

PEDRO — They knew what to expect and they knew what they had to do.

It was good to know.

The Rock Valley Senior League All-Stars did what they knew they had to do as they scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Wheelersburg 5-4 Thursday to win the girls’ senior league state championship.

Rock Valley routed Wheelersburg 15-0 on Tuesday to put them in position to win the tournament, but coach Darren Schug knew it wasn’t going to be as easy the second time around.

“I knew we were going to be in a dogfight. We made sure the girls knew it, too. Wheelersburg was a better team than we saw in the first game,” said Schug.

“It was a great game. It was a pitcher’s duel, which we expected. It came down to who made few mistakes and we were able to make a few more big plays.”

Morgan Schug and Rachel Murnahan combined on a four-hitter for Rock Valley. Schug went four innings, struck out four and did not walk a batter. Murnahan finished to get the win as she fanned two and walked one.

Rock Valley took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Dani Crabtree reached on a missed third strike and scored on a hit by Breanna Depriest.

Hannah Maynard was safe on an error and scored on a passed ball as Rock Valley took a 2-0 lead in the third.

Depriest walked and Courtney Duncan had an RBI single to make it 3-0 in the fifth inning.

Wheelersburg scored all four of its runs in the sixth inning to take a 4-3 lead.

But Rock Valley put together a thrilling finish.

Morgan Schug walked and pinch-runner Autumn Keathley scored when Maynard cranked a double to right-center, the game’s only extra base hit.

A passed ball sent Maynard to third base and brought Murnahan to the plate. With two strikes, Murnahan grounded to third base but Maynard beat the throw to the plate for the winning run.

With the win and the state title, Rock Valley will now travel to South Bend, IN., in August for the regional tournament.

Wheelersburg 000 004 0 = 4 4 3

Rock Valley 011 010 2 = 5 5 2

Newsome and Ward. Morgan Schug, Rachel Murnahan (5) and Vicki Donley. W-Murnahan (2-K, 1-BB). Schug 4-K, 0-BB. L-Newsome (6-K, 6-BB). 2B-Rock Valley: Hannah Maynard. Hitting-Wheelersburg: Kammer 1-3, Peters 1-3, Arnold 2-3; Rock Valley: Breanna Depriest 1-2, Courtney Duncan 1-3, Hannah Maynard 1-4, Katie Hill 1-2, Vicki Donley 1-3.