Wise Central’s Allison, Sturgill looking for a softball title | Sports News

Wise County Central High School seniors Bayleigh Allison and Jillian Sturgill have already received their diplomas, but they still have another state tournament to participate in and a chance to add another ring to their jewelry collection.

Allison and Sturgill are standouts for Central’s softball team, which hosts the Dan River Wildcats today in a VHSL Class 2 state quarterfinal showdown.

Both were on the volleyball squad that finished as Region 2D runner-up and lost to Glenvar in the state quarterfinals.

Both started as the Warriors won the VHSL Class 2 girls basketball state championship in March.

Now, they’ve helped Central win a Region 2D softball title and qualify for the state tournament for the first time in program history.

“I’ve been very thankful for the opportunities that my senior year has bestowed upon me athletically, but if you would’ve asked me at the beginning of the year I would have been shocked,” Allison said. “I have dreamed of making it to state in softball since I was a little girl, so this honor means everything to me. Softball has always been my favorite and I wanted nothing more than to complete my senior year with a state appearance in it. Throughout my other years of high school, I was only able to experience a state tournament appearance my freshman year in basketball, but I knew this year I wanted to make all my last season’s special and so far they have been just that.”

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Allison outdueled Tazewell ace Carly Compton in the Region 2D title game, crafting a two-hitter in a 3-2 win. That came after she hurled a three-hitter in a semifinal victory over Richlands.

“This softball season has by far been the best sports season of my high school career. Our team is such a tight-knit group of girls who play for each other and love each other,” Allison said. “It’s not often that you find a high school girls sports team that does not have drama, but truthfully, there has been nothing but unity this whole season. We pick each other up when needed, we dance together, we celebrate wins and birthdays and we depend on each other and our coaches. It’s been a blessing.”

The following is a brief look at each of today’s 15 VHSL state quarterfinal games involving local teams:

Chilhowie (13-12) vs. Auburn (18-5), at Emory & Henry College, 1 p.m.: Chilhowie lost 2-0 to Auburn in the 2021 state semifinals and 7-6 to the Eagles in the 2019 state quarterfinals.

Lebanon (20-4) at Grayson County (21-4), 3 p.m.: North Carolina State signee Andrew Shaffner of Grayson County has crushed 11 home runs and has pitched to the tune of a 0.181 ERA.

Alleghany (16-8) at John Battle (18-8), 6 p.m.: The rosters of each of these teams feature just three seniors.

Gate City (12-14) at Appomattox (20-1), 7 p.m.: Gate City is in the state tournament for the first time since 2013.

Spotswood (21-2) at Abingdon (23-2), 6 p.m.: Junior Ethan Gibson has gotten it done at the plate (.482 batting average, six home runs) and on the mound (11-0, 0.681 ERA) for Abingdon.

Eastside (19-5) vs. Fort Chiswell (19-5), at UVa-Wise, 6:30 p.m.: Fort Chiswell head coach Chelsea Campbell is a 2009 graduate of Northwood.

Lebanon (17-7) at Auburn (19-5), 3 p.m.: Both of these teams are state tournament regulars with Auburn winning the last two Class 1 state titles.

Dan River (18-3) at Wise County Central (21-5), 5 p.m.: This will be the final game for Central at Bill Dotson Sr. Field in Wise as the Warriors will play in a new on-campus facility next season.

Tazewell (18-4) at Appomattox (21-0), 5 p.m.: This game features a matchup between two of the state’s top pitchers in freshman ace Carly Compton of Tazewell and University of Virginia signee Courtney Lane of defending state champ Appomattox.

Auburn (12-6-2) at Lebanon (16-0-3), 6 p.m.: Lebanon senior goalkeeper Josiah Wilson has 15 shutouts this season.

Honaker (13-3-2) at Galax (11-8-2), 6 p.m.: Honaker dropped a 2-0 decision to Galax in last year’s state semifinals.

Graham (16-0) vs. Radford (15-4-1), at East River Soccer Complex, 7 p.m.: Graham goalkeeper Nic Knowles has allowed just 13 goals this season.

Virginia High (12-6-1) at Glenvar, 7 p.m.: Virginia High’s 53 goals have been scored by 10 different players.

Auburn (14-5-1) at Honaker, 6 p.m.: Katelyn Lafon (29 goals) and Katie Light (28 goals) are a formidable one-two punch for Auburn.

Virginia High (15-2-2) at Alleghany (15-2-2), 6 p.m.: Alleghany coach Bob Donnan is also a photographer for USA Today and has shot Super Bowls, Final Fours, the Olympics, NBA Finals and many other events for the newspaper.

Union (20-4) vs. Glenvar (15-5), Appalachia’s Riggs Stadium, 5 p.m.: This is believed to be the first state playoff game at historic Riggs Stadium since Appalachia’s 1992 state semifinal football victory over Parry McCluer.

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