BUFFALO, W.Va. — Now that’s making the most of your last opportunity.
Point Pleasant Class of 2017 graduates Megan Hammond and Cammy Hesson had one final chance to suit up in the Red, Black and White, as the duo helped the South All-Stars claim a three-game sweep over the North All-Stars, on Thursday at Buffalo High School.
The day began at 10:30 with seven skills competitions, followed by two seven-inning games and one five-inning game. Afterward, the Lady Knights spoke about the experience.
Hammond — the Lady Knights’ everyday centerfielder — noted the the ability to play with, instead of against, players from rival schools.
“It was fun being able to play with all of the girls that we’ve played against for years,” said Hammond. “It was a great experience and a lot of fun, walking out onto the field for one last time in high school.”
Hesson — the Lady Knights’ everyday shortstop and a second team All-State Class AA selection — enjoyed the chance compete among the state’s elite.
“It really meant a lot,” Hesson said. “It’s great to represent Point Pleasant, with all of the good players out here.
This season, Hammond and Hesson helped the Lady Knights to a 23-9 record and a 12th straight regional appearence.
Hesson had a day to remember from the early going, as she won the fastest overhand throw event was an average speed of 59.8 mph and a top speed of 61 mph.
Hesson and Hammond both competed in the home run derby, bunting competition and fastest overhand throw, with Cammy also running the 20-yard dash and Megan throwing in the accuracy competition.
The home run derby was won by East Fairmont’s Olivia Conaway, who hit four out and won in a tie-breaker by a 3-1 count over Hurricane’s Katie Adams.
Winfield’s Cartney Schoolcraft won the fastest underhand throw with an average of 60.6 mph and a top-speed of 62 mph, and also won the 40-yard dash with a time an average time of 5.83 seconds and a top-time of 5.75 seconds. The 20-yard dash was on by Hurricane’s Paige Scruggs with an average time of 2.825 seconds and a top-time of 2.8 seconds.
Williamstown’s Nellie King won the accuracy throw with a 90-percent rate, while Parkersburg’s Katie Hudkins won the bunting competition with 22 points.
In the opening game, the South All-Stars broke the scoreless tie with one run in the bottom of the fourth, and another run in the bottom of the fifth. The South scored the final two runs of its 4-0 win in the bottom of the sixth inning, which included an RBI single by Hammond.
The first game’s Most Valuable Players were Courtney Dotson (Williamstown) from the North and Schoolcraft — who struck out 16 batters and and allowed just two hits in a complete game shutout — for the South.
In the second game, the North took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but was held scoreless for the remainder. The South All-Stars were held scoreless for the first four frames, but tallied four runs in the top of the fifth and cruised to the 4-2 win.
Hammond scored the game-tying run in the second game, while Hesson singled once.
The Most Valuable Players in the second game were Mariah Wilson (Liberty Harrison) for the North and Sydney Seagraves (Sherman) from the South. Wilson doubled once in the setback, while Seagraves was 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
The third game was tied at three for the first three innings, but the North broke through with two runs in the top of the fourth. The South got one run back in the bottom of the fourth, as Hesson doubled for the team’s first hit of the game and then scored.
In the bottom of the fifth and final inning, the South tied the game at two and then Winfield’s Emily Moore came through with a walk-off single, giving the South the 3-2 win.
Moore was the MVP for the South in the final game, while Wirt County’s Jessica Lockart was the North MVP.
The South has now won 18 of the last 21 meetings and hold an all-time 38-22-1 record in the series, which dates back to 1993.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.