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West Virginia in semifinals

By BRANDON WRIGHT
Published August 9, 2005


GULFPORT - The stakes were high - but simple - Monday afternoon for neighbors West Virginia and Virginia: win or go home. Barboursville, W.Va., pitcher Chris Weed wasn't ready to pack his bags yet.

Weed tossed a shutout as Barboursville reached the semifinals by beating West Springfield, Va., 1-0 at Arnold S. White Stadium.

"I like pitching in close games better," Weed said. "What's the fun in pitching in a blowout?"

Weed scattered three hits and fanned five for West Virginia.

West Virginia committed four errors to Virginia's one, but that lone miscue proved costly in the third inning. Virginia rightfielder Daniel Allen misfired trying to throw Caleb Ross out on a hit, allowing Colton Ruley to score. Ruley was 2-for-3 and is 7-for-10 with a homer in the tournament.

The winner of today's game between Maitland and Phenix City, Ala., will join West Virginia in the semifinals.

Also, Columbia, Tenn., defeated Southwest Forsyth, N.C., 10-1, preventing North Carolina from clinching a semifinal berth. If South Carolina (0-2) beats Georgia today, North Carolina and Tennessee advance. But if Georgia wins, then it, Tennessee and North Carolina would all be 2-1. The first two tiebreakers are head-to-head and average runs allowed per inning.

LITTLE LEAGUE SOFTBALL: Citrus Park Seniors pitcher Alyesse Stapf threw a seven-inning no hitter and struck out 11 but still took the loss 1-0 against Puerto Rico Monday night.

Citrus Park fell to 1-1 in pool play and faces Southwest Texas at 8 tonight and Indiana Central at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Puerto Rico scored in the bottom of the second after the leadoff hitter walked. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and took third on a passed ball.

When another runner on first stole second, the throw was late, giving the third-base runner time to score. Citrus Park loaded the bases with two outs in the second but was unable to score.

In the fifth, Citrus Park's Danielle Chapman walked and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kristen Martin.

Then Katie Ely singled to deep rightfield and Chapman was waved around third, but the Puerto Rico fielder made a perfect throw to beat the runner.

"Puerto Rico's girls are the defending world champions and they have a great team," Citrus Park coach Marisol Hester said. "Alyesse pitched a no-hitter though, and it was a super game."

--Times correspondent Terry Jones contributed to this report.