WINFIELD, W.Va. — The agony of defeat … and the thrill of victory.
Both games went down to the final out, but the Point Pleasant softball team outlasted host Winfield in a best-of-3 series Wednesday night following a heartbreaking 3-2 loss and a climactic 11-10 victory in a pair of Class AAA Region 4, Section 1 contests in Putnam County.
The Lady Knights (23-8) — who defeated the Lady Generals (10-18) by a 1-0 count in the opener Tuesday night — had their 10-game winning streak against WHS come to an end as Michaela Cottrill was tagged out at home trying to score the game-tying run in the bottom of the seventh.
Winfield centerfielder Kenna Markham fired a bullet to catcher Madison Wall, who had to lean and tag Cottrill as she lept toward home for the final out of the contest — allowing the Lady Generals to even the series up at one apiece with the 3-2 win.
PPHS built an 11-4 lead headed into the bottom of the seventh of the finale and seemed in total control, but Winfield responded by sending 10 batters to the plate. The Lady Generals scored six runs to pull to within 11-10 and had a runner on third with two outs.
Natalie Maskofsky followed by lifting a bloop pop-up between second base and right field, but Karson Bonecutter charged in from right field and made a sliding catch for the final out — allowing Point Pleasant to advance to its second consecutive Class AAA regional tournament.
It was the fifth one-run game between PPHS and Winfield this year. Point Pleasant won both regular season contests by scores of 3-2.
The Lady Knights will travel to Logan for the Class AAA regional semifinal at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 15.
Full details of the Class AAA Region 4, Section 1 twin-bill will be available in the Friday sports editions of the Point Pleasant Register, The Daily Sentinel and Gallipolis Daily Tribune.