Weir High’s regional ride ends to tough Petersburg

HUSTLING — Weir High’s Abrianna Fuscardo fields a play in left field during a Class AA regional contest against Petersburg on Friday at North Marion. (Photo by Andrew Grimm)

FAIRMONT — With the sting of a season-ending defeat still fresh, Weir High softball coach Frank Sisinni couldn’t help but take a minute to be proud of what his club accomplished.

The Red Riders tournament run ended with a tough 3-1 loss to Petersburg in Game 2 of the Class AA Region 1 championship series Friday evening at North Marion High School.

“Its a coaching cliche that someone has to lose, and today that was us,” Sisinni said. “We got eliminated, but I told the girls that what these seniors have done for the school and this team is set a new standard for Weir High softball. This year we took a step. Last year our step was to get to the sectional final, and we checked the box of winning it.”

Sisinni’s group finishes with a 20-8 record.

“Today is a celebration from where we’ve come,” Sisinni said. “The seniors and the coaches put in a lot of hard work to get us to this point. It’s bitter right now, but I told not to hang their heads because they accomplished a lot for Weir High School.”

The Red Riders lose three seniors in Lexey Brenneman, Abrianna Fuscardo and Allison Phillips.

“We accomplished a lot this year,” Fuscardo said. “I’m happy to see what we have become. It’s tremendous what we have done. I’m proud of my teammates. It’s a tough loss, but we have a lot to be proud of and the sun will come up tomorrow.”

Having been a part of its most recent step forward, Brenneman hopes to see her teammates take another next season.

“It hits hard to lose in the regional championship,” Brenneman said. “It was great year. It was a very hard-fought game. I want to see them take another step and make it to states next year so I can go cheer them on. We came into this not having experienced a regional game before, now they’ve been here and they’ll know what to expect.”

After the Vikings (25-3) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, Liv Rosnick — who struck out five in the circle — evened the score in the top of the fourth.

Taylor Webster recorded the Red Riders first hit off of Petersburg pitcher Carly Cooper, who was perfect through three innings. Webster advanced to second on a wild pitch and came around to score when Rosnick’s hit found a gap through to left field.

The Vikings got the lead back in the bottom of the fifth when Hannah Smith reached on an error and scored on a wild pitch.

“It wasn’t how I would have drawn it up but the bottom line is we found a way to win a game,” Petersburg coach Bubba Hedrick said. “We just found a way. We knew it was going to be tight and the opportunities were going to be small. You’ve got to take advantage when you get them and we did.”

Cooper struck out the side in the sixth, and her teammates gave her a little more insurance in the bottom half somewhat controversially.

Jenna Burgess led off the inning with a single, being called safe at first after Webster gathers in a ground ball and tried to apply the tag.

Burgess moved to second on Bryanna Moreland’s single, then third on a wild pitch. Rosnick punched out Mackenzie Weasenforth, but the third strike was dropped and when Sophia Mikula made the throw to first, Burgess took off for home plate. Weir thought they tagged her out in a rundown, but after a conference the crew determined she was safe.

“It is what it is,” Sisinni said of the call. “That didn’t cause any issues for us. We didn’t get the runs we needed.”

Rosnick led off the top of the seventh with her second single, but a double play and groundout two batters later ended Weir’s season.

“The ball kind of bounced in their favor,” he said. “We got caught in a double play there.

“This time of year is a battle of the best of the best. It’s championship softball and sometimes it comes down to a bounce here or a mistake there.”

The Vikings advance to the state tournament in Vienna to face 30-0 Herbert Hoover on Wednesday.

Game notes:

¯ The game was originally scheduled to be played at Petersburg on Thursday but had to be moved to Friday and eventually to North Marion due to weather and field conditions.

¯ The game started about 45 minutes late because the Petersburg bus broke down and got held up by an accident during the trip.

Petersburg 3, Weir High 1

Weir High 0-0-0 1-0-0 0 — 1 4 1

Petersburg 1-0-0 0-1-1 x — 3 4 1

WEIR HIGH (20-8): Rosnick (LP, 6IP, 3R (2ER), 4H, 5K, 2BB, 1HBP) and Mikula.

PETERSBURG (25-3): Cooper (WP, CG, 1R (1ER), 4H, 10K, 1BB) and Moreland.

TWO OR MORE HITS: Weir High (Rosnick 2); Petersburg (Moreland 2). DOUBLES: Weir High: None; Petersburg: 1 (Moreland). TRIPLES: None. HOME RUNS: None. RBIs: Weir High (Rosnick); Petersburg (Vanmeter).