For those around the state who haven’t heard of Stacia Jackson, she made sure you’ll never forget her name Wednesday.

And the scariest part about Spring Valley’s ace pitcher, she’s only a freshman.

Jackson threw a pair of complete game shutouts, carrying the Timberwolves into the Class AAA state softball championship at 3 p.m. today against either East Fairmont or Musselman.

“Yeah, she’s awesome,” East head coach Chuck Fluharty said. “You really can’t figure her out because her arsenal is like six different pitches. Obviously, we didn’t.”

In her state-tournament debut, Jackson fired a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts and outdueled Amber Rankin and South Charleston for a 1-0 win.

Jackson followed that up with another two-hitter and 12 more strikeouts to send Spring Valley past East, 1-0. In all, Jackson faced 47 batters, struck out 25, walked two and allowed only four hits.

“For ninth grade, she’s put together,” Spring Valley coach Stacey Rule Mabry said. “Colleges have been at games. And they have said, flat out, that she is above the colleges that have been here looking at her.”

Brittany Zivkovic beat out a bunt single in the fourth to break up the no-hitter, but was erased at second base attempting a steal.

Ashley Morris, who had the only other hit off Jackson, drew a leadoff walk in the fifth and advanced to second on a wild pitch. But Jackson fanned the next three hitters.

“What we tried to do is not overwhelm our hitters with too much information because she has so many weapons,” Fluharty said. “You really can’t tell them anything specific. We tried to lay off the high stuff, and just put the bat on the ball. See it and hit it.”

However, the problem wasn’t seeing Jackon’s pitches. Simply making contact was hard enough.

Rachel Filius went pitch for pitch with Jackson until the sixth inning, which was Filius’ 14th and final inning of the day.

After a leadoff single and fielder’s choice left courtesy runner Cassie Stender at first base, Jessica Bailey — Spring Valley’s lone senior — came up with the biggest hit of the game. Bailey hit a line drive that found the gap in right-center field for a run-scoring double. East had a shot at Stender, but the throw home sailed high.

“Jessica crushed the ball and had a huge hit for us. We knew she could hit. We were just waiting for it,’’ Mabry said. “And she’s probably going to miss graduation tomorrow just to be here. She wants this championship bad. So I know that really felt good for her. It felt good for us.”

East was able to play Spring Valley after squandering a 1-0 lead in the seventh before rebounding to get past Musselman Wednesday morning, 2-1 in eight innings.

The Bees had runners at second and third with two outs when Kate Wiles delivered a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the eighth that wasn’t hit fast enough to get her at first and just slow enough to avoid the force out at second.

In the scorebook, though, it’s a line-drive single, at least in Wiles’ mind.

“I was pretty nervous,” said Wiles, who was 0-for-3 prior to that hit. “But I knew I had to step up for the team.

“I saw it bounce up the middle, and I just wanted to get to first. So I didn’t even know we scored until everyone came and jumped on me.”

East took a 1-0 lead off Musselman ace Megan Holmes in the third.

Cari Baker hit a one-out single and moved to third on Zivkovic’s sacrifice bunt, which the putout at first was dropped leaving them at the corners. Alli Mayle rolled one to third base, but courtesy runner Jenna Wood was cut down at home plate for the second out. But Morris cleaned up the leftovers with a RBI single up the middle, plating Zivkovic for the first run. Baker led the way with three hits, while Zivkovic and Morris each had two. Mayle and Filius both added one in the win.

Musselman did not tie things up until the seventh on Jill Shawyer’s single to left field that got away from Leesa Jackson, allowing Taylar Moore, who walked, to score.

“We weren’t exactly down because we’ve been in these situations a lot,” Wiles said. “We just knew we had to pick each other up, keep our heads in the game and focus. That’s what we ended up doing.”

The Appleman had a chance to take the lead in the eighth with the bases loaded and two outs, but Filius struck out Moore to end the threat.

That led to Wiles’ game-winner that scored Morris, who led off the inning with a single, took second on a wild pitch and moved to third on Diana Ruggiero’s infield hit to keep the inning alive.

“I had a feeling Kate would get a hit,” Filius said. “Our girls seem to be pretty good about cracking down in those situations and digging down deep to get it done.”

Filius ended the day allowing nine hits in 14 innings and only one earned run. The junior struck out 16 and walked three.

“Rachel really threw well,” Fluharty said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more from her. Man, what a performance she had today.”

But the Bees (24-9) now face elimination from here on out, beginning with today’s 10 a.m. rematch against Musselman. The winner must beat Spring Valley twice for the state title.

E-mail Andrew Manzo at

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