HARTFORD, W.Va. — A slow start, but ultimately, a good start.
The Wahama softball team rallied back from deficits of 3-0 and 5-4 by scoring the final five runs on Thursday night en route to a 9-5 victory over visiting Williamstown in a non-conference matchup in Mason County.
The Lady Falcons (1-0) found themselves in a three-run hole after a half-inning of play, but the hosts rallied with a run in the third and three more scores in the fourth to secure their first lead of the night at 4-3 after four complete.
The Lady Yellow Jackets (0-1) countered with a two-run outburst in the top half of the fifth to re-establish a 5-4 edge, but the Red and White countered with another three-run explosion in their next at-bat — giving Wahama a permanent lead of 7-5 through five innings.
The Lady Falcons tacked on two more insurance runs in the home half of the sixth for a 9-5 lead, then Williamstown went down in order in the seventh — allowing the hosts to pick up the season-opening triumph.
Alexis Schreckengost gave the guests an early lead thanks to a three-run homer in the top half of the first, but the Lady Falcons cut into that deficit in the bottom of the second after Victoria VanMatre singled home Emma Gibbs for a 3-1 contest.
Emily VanMatre and Alexis Mick led off the fourth with consecutive singles, then VanMatre came around to score on a Gibbs single that put runners at the corners with one away.
Mick later scored on a wild pitch to knot things up at three, then Hannah Rose tripled home Gibbs while giving Wahama a 4-3 lead through four complete.
Schreckengost led off the fifth with a triple and later scored on a Kayla Scott double that tied things at four. Faith Hoosier also singled and later scored on an error that gave Williamstown a 5-4 cushion midway through the fifth.
Emily VanMatre singled home Ashtyn Russell with one out in the fifth, tying the game at five. VanMatre later scored the winning run on an error that allowed Mick to reach safely. Mick eventually came home on a two-out triple frin Gibbs, giving the hosts a 7-5 cushion after five full frames.
Rose walked to start the sixth and later scored on a Russell single, then Russell came home on a Maddy VanMatre single that completed the score at 9-5.
Wahama outhit the guests by a 14-6 overall margin and also committed three of the five errors in the contest. The Lady Falcons left seven runners on base, while Williamstown stranded eight on the bags.
Hannah Billups was the winning pitcher of record after allowing five runs (four earned), five hits and seven walks over five innings while striking out four. Rose worked two innings of scoreless relief, allowing one walk and one hit while fanning two.
Sarah Hendrickson took the loss for the Lady Jackets after surrendering six earned runs, 14 hits and one walk over six innings while striking out one.
Russell and Gibbs led the hosts with three hits apiece, followed by Rose and Emily VanMatre with two safeties each. Mick, Grace Haddox, Maddy VanMatre and Victoria VanMatre also had a hit apiece for the victors.
Gibbs led Wahama with two RBIs, while Mick, Russell, Gibbs and Emily VanMatre each scored twice for the hosts.
Schreckengost paced Williamstown with two hits and three RBIs. Hoosier, Brittney Hooper, Kayla Scott and Darcy Johnson also had a hit apiece in the setback.
Wahama played a doubleheader Saturday at Buffalo and returns to action Tuesday when it travels to Point Pleasant for a non-conference contest at p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.