What a difference a year makes.
This time last April, North Marion softball was trying to find its footing in a season where the Huskies finished an even .500 at 14-14.
North has to be among the more improved teams in the state during 2013’s early going, as the Huskies sit at 6-2 overall heading into today’s annual Diamond Dawg double-elimination tournament that gets under way this morning in Rachel.
New coach Brad Harker has brought the experience of past success when he was last in charge over a decade ago, and the young squad has brought in so far.
Even in Wednesday’s 5-4, nine-inning loss to University, the changes were easy to see. The Huskies took an early lead, only to lose it almost as quickly as they gained it, and went into the bottom of the seventh inning facing a do-or-die situation.
Freshman — yes, freshman — Shasta Pyles ripped a double in the gap to deadlock the game at 4-all and force extras. That University got two bunt singles in the ninth, even that the Hawks prevailed in the end, doesn’t really matter.
The Huskies sent a message: That they will keep fighting — and this fast start doesn’t look like a fluke.
Speaking of North, the Husky boys’ basketball program is bringing old and new together on Sunday afternoon.
At the high school at 1 p.m., North’s varsity team will play assorted alumni players from years past.
Like most anything, the Husky faithful does a great job of supporting its school, and this should be no different. Admission at the door is just $2.
If you hadn’t noticed, Fairmont State baseball is on a roll.
The Falcons have won seven of their last eight and improved their record to 11-13 overall and 7-7 in the WVIAC with a two-game sweep of Glenville State earlier this week.
A familiar name played a key role along the way, as Fairmont Senior grad Jamie Allard notched a complete game, two-hit shutout. The right-hander struck out five and walked none, and let one runner reach second base.
On the year, Allard is 3-2 with a 2.78 ERA over 35-plus innings.
Elsewhere, former Polar Bear standout Tyler Walter is off to a flying start at Hagerstown Community College (Md.).
The former all-state first baseman was leading the team with 31 RBIs and has added a 349 batting average.
Email Nick Cammuso at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter@NickCammusoTWV.
What a difference a year makes.
5 memorable college hoops tourney buzzer beaters
It's March, which means the NCAA Tournament is just around the corner. But before March Madness takes hold, the conference tournaments, which get under way this week, often provide their own share of exciting finishes. Here are five memorable buzzer beaters from conference tournament play.
Fairmont Senior bullies Ritchie County to claim regional title: PHOTOS
While remnants of a winter storm remained outside of the Woody Williams Armory, No. 1 Fairmont Senior was on fire inside, beating Ritchie County, 69-31, for the Region I title.
It was business as usual for Fairmont Senior, which will advance to the state tournament beginning next Wednesday in Charleston.
North Marion tops Webster, 76-48
North Marion rebounded from a sectional championship loss to beat Webster County, 76-48, on the road Thursday night to punch its ticket to the state tournament.
The Lady Huskies, which had four of their five starters in double figures, used a team effort to get the win.
HERTZEL COLUMN: Huggins just wants WVU to compete
In the end, with Bob Huggins, they count victories and losses, and he has always been one to pile up the victories while keeping the losses to a minimum, at least until the last two seasons at West Virginia University.
And, in the end, when he tries to analyze why the losses have come rather than the victories, he comes to understand that he just doesn’t have the manpower to compete.
Cold-shooting Lady Falcons fall to State
In its biggest game of the season to date Fairmont State suffered its worst performance.
Fifth-seeded FSU shot a season-low 29.5 percent from the field (18-of-61), including a dismal 8-of-33 showing (24.2 percent) in the second half and as a result fell, 71-59, to fourth-seeded West Virginia State in the quarterfinals of the first Mountain East Conference Women's Basketball Tournament here Thursday night at the Charleston Civic Center.
Falcons hope for tournament run
Since day one, making another post-season run has been at the top of Fairmont State coach Jerrod Calhoun’s mind.
Last season the Falcons went three-for-four in the WVIAC Tournament, falling to West Liberty in the tournament’s final game. The strong run, though, propelled the Falcons into the NCAA Tournament as a No. 4 seed.
Carey, Bussie headline Big 12 awards
To the victors go the spoils, and West Virginia University’s newly crowned Big 12 women’s basketball regular-season co-champions certainly took down their share of the conference’s post-season awards, headed by coach Mike Carey and senior center Asya Bussie.
FURFARI COLUMN: Women’s finale fitting as all-time Coliseum great
If you weren’t among the thrilled, extremely vocal 5,502 fans at the WVU Coliseum last Tuesday night, you missed one of the most memorable sports events in that 44-year-old arena’s history.
The No. 7 nationally ranked West Virginia University women’s basketball team’s capture of the Big 12 Conference regular-season co-championship beating Kansas 67-60 on Senior Night was followed by a wild, wonderful celebration.
Local product enters Mount St. Mary’s Hall of Fame
Fairmont Senior graduate Heather Wable DeWees has been inducted into Mount St. Mary’s University Athletics Hall of Fame.
During her time on Mount St. Mary’s women’s basketball team, she was described as a “winner.”
Elliott, Delligatti share state championship win with their fathers
As human beings, we love to share special moments with those we are closest to.
For Ryan Elliott and Vincent Delligatti, that moment was winning the state championship, something they were both able to accomplish with their father as a coach on their wrestling team.
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