'Half of Keyser came out!': Lady Tornado heroics lead Keyser over Oak Glen

Chapin Jewell
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Keyser's Charity Wolfe posted an impressive performance in game one against Oak Glen. In addition to securing the win with a walk-off home run in the eighth inning, Wolfe was dominant in the circle, going the distance for the win.

KEYSER - Were you there? If you weren’t then you very well may have been in the minority. When Keyser welcomed undefeated Oak Glen for game one regional action on Monday, seemingly half the town of Keyser was present, adorned in Black and Gold. They packed behind the backstop, they gathered together on the hill and along the outfield fence, all to see the Lady Tornado defeat the Golden Bears 3-2.

“So proud of our KHS softball team! Huge win tonight! Half of Keyser came out in a big way to support our girls! We are blessed and so thankful,” Keyser coach Chris Shoemaker stated after the contest.

It was a game many suspected to be a pitcher’s duel and it was. Oak Glen junior Maddie Mckay was brilliant on the mound, striking out 16, walking two, giving up three runs on six hits. Keyser sophomore Charity Wolfe matched that brilliance, striking out 11, walking two, giving up two runs on just five hits.

That one less hit and particularly one less run that Wolfe allowed made all the difference in Keyser earning the 3-2 victory. Well, sort of, actually it was a hit that Wolfe hit herself that made all the difference, but more about that later.

As mentioned, many suspected a pitcher’s duel. What most would not have suspected, however, is that McKay and Wolfe would duel with their bats as well.

The scoring didn’t start until the top of the fourth inning when the Golden Bears’ McKay hit a blast over the left field fence to give Oak Glen a 1-0 advantage.

But Keyser would respond in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 2-1 lead. It all started when Carlie Del Signore hit a double with one out. Then it happened, Alexa Shoemaker did what Alexa Shoemaker does. With Del Signore on second, and some uncertainty as to whether Oak Glen might intentionally walk her, they didn’t. Shoemaker seized the opportunity to hit a blast over the left field fence to score herself and Del Signore for the 2-1 lead.

The huge hometown crowd erupted in a way that had homeowners in adjacent neighborhoods saying they could heat the roar.

But Oak Glen is Oak Glen, and at this point the Golden Bears were still undefeated at 26-0 and for good reason. In the top of the sixth inning, a single and two walks loaded the bases for the visitors. Olivia Munoz bunted out to first baseman Alexa Shoemaker but in the process Sydney Brown scored to tie the game 2-2.

Through the end of regulation play (seven innings), the teams remained deadlocked with neither team able to gain the advantage. The game was extended by an eighth inning.

In the top of the eight inning, Oak Glen went through four batters but to no avail. Then it was Keyser’s turn.

Charity Wolfe wasted little time, putting an end to the drama while leading off the extra inning for the Lady Tornado. Wolfe swung at the second pitch and delivered a home run blast as close to the left field line as possible, securing the 3-2 victory for Keyser, and ending Oak Glen’s undefeated run.

With the victory, Keyser gained the one game to zero advantage in the series, with game two to be played at Oak Glen on Tuesday.

“It was a great game! Both teams played their hearts out,” Shoemaker stated. “Just what you expect from two quality teams at this point in the season.

In the loss, Oak Glen was led offensively by Sydney Brown with two hits, including one double. Brown scored one run. Maddie McKay had one hit, a big one, a home run, and scored one run and added an RBI. Sarah Brown singled for the Golden Bears.

In the victory, Keyser was led by Morgan Brown with two hits, one double and one single. Alexa Shoemaker had one hit, a home run, added two RBI’s, and scored one run. Charity Wolfe had one hit, a home run, added an RBI and scored one run. Carlie Del Signore doubled and scored one run. Aly Smith singled for the Lady Tornado.

It truly was a game for the ages, one that won’t soon be forgotten by those in attendance. As time goes on, more and more people, even beyond the large crowd actually in attendance, will claim to have been there.