By GARY DOVE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Tournament upsets are something that have become a part of sports since the beginning of playoffs.
Chalk up another one from Tuesday evening, as the Mount View Lady Golden Knights (4-10) upset the River View Lady Raiders (12-9) in both games of a doubleheader to claim the Class AA sectional title in McDowell County.
Background for an upset: Mount View had struggled through a regular season, winning only twice in a dozen outings, including a pair of losses to River View by lop-sided scores of 19-7 and 12-2 a little more than three weeks ago.
The Lady Raiders, on the other hand, were on a five-game win streak and looked to have righted a ship that went off course after an earlier seven consecutive victory string.
Neither team, apparently, received the script of how things should have transpired on Tuesday at Mike Crouse Field.
Brianna Kiser scattered three hits over seven innings in the opener, as her Golden Knights were not threatened in a 10-4 decision.
Mount View had taken a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, without the aid of a hit, as Heather Tolnay and Paige Short each walked to inaugurate the Lady Knights at the plate and wound up scoring, both as the result of a River View error.
In fact, the first four Lady Knights who scored had done so after working a free pass.
Tolnay, who was 2-for-3 in the initial game with an RBI, was flawless in the field, recording five putouts, including spectacular running catches, first to her left and the next inning to her right, to thwart River View threats.
Senior Jordan Younger also claimed two hits, including a home run to lead off the sixth that bounced on the top rail of the left field fence before bounding over.
Megan Price, Ashleigh Belfiore, Mackensie Chapman and Jolena Burbett all recorded safeties in the Mount View eight hit attack.
Chelsey Dobbs tripled, Rebekah Christian doubled and Lakyn Cline singled for the three Lady Raider hits.
The nightcap of the upset-special provided a little more excitement, as the Lady Knights came back from a 9-3 deficit after four innings to take a 22-12 win for the sectional crown.
A six-run second inning by River View seemed to put momentum squarely on the Lady Raiders’ side.
River View sophomore Kiersten Dority doubled in that frame, while Sissy Waldron, Dobbs and Cline all singled.
Mount View, the visitor in the nightcap, got back three of those runs in the top of the third when Younger, now the DH, connected for a three run homer that cleared the left-center field fence with room to spare.
River View snatched the three-spot right back in the last of the third, with Waldron and Summer Bailey rapping back-to-back doubles and both Dobbs and Lakyen Rash smacking singles to put the advantage at 9-3 after three, where it remained following the scoreless fourth for each club.
And then it happened.
The Lady Knights scored seven times in the top of the fifth, on only two hits, but with the assistance of seven walks. River View tied the score at 10 in the last of the fifth, on four hits, but a double play cut short any more runs.
Five more Mount View runs in the sixth, on only one hit, but with seven more free passes vaulted the underdogs on top for keeps.
After the Lady Raiders had crossed home twice in the last of the sixth, Mount View again accumulated seven runs in the next inning for the 22-12 victory.
When the smoke from the pair of upsets had cleared, the Lady Knights had drawn seventeen walks in the second game, including nine that forced across a run in those three wild final frames.
Remarked River View assistant coach Bobby Barker, “Twenty-four walks in both games and I lost count of the errors. You can’t win like that…We came up here not prepared to play.”
The Lady Raiders actually outhit Mount View in the second game 14-7, led by Waldron’s three safeties, including a double. Dority also recorded three hits, one of which was also a double.
Bailey, with a pair of doubles, and Dobbs, with two singles, chipped in two hits each, while Ellamae Johnson, Cline, Rash and Destinie Clevenger accounted for the other four River View hits.
Price hurled the complete game victory for Mount View, while collecting a pair of hits and knocking home four runs. Younger had the three-run homer, and finished the game with 6 RBIs.
Tolnay, who reached base eight of nine times in the two games and scored five times as the leadoff batter, collected a hit, as did Belfiore, Chantel Vineyard and Rebecca Snow.
Mount View head coach Todd McCoy related, “I think finally it all came together. I’ve been telling them all year long, we want to peak out right at tournament time. This, without a doubt, was the best two games we’ve played.
“We hit the ball, we fielded and got two good outings from two pitchers. What I was proud of, we were down 9-3 and rallied back to win in that second one.”
With a pair of upsets under their collective belts, the Lady Knights will host the regionals, which get underway next week, with a yet-to-be determined opponent.
River View.........................000 202 0 — 4 3 3
Mount View......................201 241 x — 10 8 1
Rebekah Christian and Summer Bailey. Brianna Kiser and Bre’a Belle. WP: Kiser; LP: Christian.
Mount View....................003 075 7 — 22 7 2
River View......................063 012 0 — 12 14 4
Megan Price and Bre’a Belle, Chantel Vineyard (5). Rebekah Christian, Kiersten Dority (5), Lakyn Cline (5), Christian (6), Briana Compton (6) and Summer Bailey. WP: Price; LP: Cline.