WAYNE, W.Va. — Fundamentals at their finest.
The Point Pleasant softball executed a little small-ball in the third and fifth innings to build a 3-0 lead, then eventually held on down the stretch to claim a hard-fought 3-2 win over host Wayne on Wednesday night in a non-conference matchup in Wayne County.
The Lady Knights (8-3) found themselves in a scoreless tie through two full innings of play, but the guests broke into the scoring column in the top half of the third with some timely contact.
Hannah Smith started the inning with a single and advanced to third on a Peyton Jordan double, then Kelsie Byus drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases with nobody out.
Tanner King hit a sacrifice fly to right field that allowed Smith to come home for a 1-0 advantage, then Leah Cochran grounded into a fielder’s choice that brought Jordan in to score — making it a 2-0 contest midway through the third.
With the bases loaded and one out in the top of the fifth, Kelsey Price lifted a sacrifice fly to right field that allowed Byus to score while giving the guests a three-run cushion headed into the home half of the fifth.
The Lady Pioneers finally found some offensive rhythm in the fifth as Regan Booten belted a two-run homer over the left-center field fence with two away, trimming the deficit down to a single run through five complete.
Wayne had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the sixth, but a strikeout and an unassisted out at first base ultimately allowed PPHS to hold on to its 3-2 lead.
The hosts mustered a two-out single in the seventh, but ran out of outs during their final rally bid.
Point Pleasant outhit the Lady Pioneers by a slim 8-7 overall margin, but the guests also committed all four errors in the contest. WHS stranded 11 runners on base, while Point left eight on the bags.
Jordan was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two earned runs, five hits and one walk over five innings while striking out one. Leah Cochran allowed two hits and two walks in two innings of relief while striking out two for the save.
Regan Roach took the loss for Wayne after surrendering three earned runs, seven hits and four walks over six innings of work.
Smith led the Lady Knights with two hits, followed by Jordan, Byus, Cochran, Tanner King, Izabella King and Shala Swain with a safety apiece. Cochran, Price and Tanner King drove in a run each for the victors.
Roach and Riley Parsons led WHS with two hits apiece, followed by Booten, Olivia Maynard and Whitney Samson with a safety each. Booten accounted for both RBIs in the setback.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.