WILLOW WOOD, Ohio — Some tough terrain in this valley.
The Point Pleasant softball team had its eight-game winning streak snapped and dropped 2-of-3 decisions overall this past Friday and Saturday at the 2018 Valley of Thunder tournament held at Symmes Valley High School in Lawrence County.
The Lady Knights (13-5) did everything in their collective power to get a ninth-consecutive victory in the Friday opener, but Gahanna Lincoln — an Ohio Division I state semifinalist a year ago — scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh to squeak out a 9-8 decision.
PPHS followed that heartbreaker with a convincing 13-3 victory over Belpre in the Friday night cap, but ultimately finished the tournament on a down note after dropping a 16-4 decision in five innings to Pickerington North — another Division I program in the Buckeye State.
The Lady Knights led 2-0 through a half-inning of play against Lincoln, but the hosts rallied by scoring twice in the first before adding runs in the second, third and fourth frames — giving LHS a 5-2 edge.
Point followed with two runs in the fifth to close within a run, but the Golden Lions retaliated with three scores for an 8-4 cushion through five complete.
Both teams went scoreless in the sixth, but the Red and Black pushed across four runs in the top-half of the seventh. Shala Swain delivered a two-out infield single in that plated Kauri Porter for an eight-all contest.
The Blue and Gold, however, used an error to their advantage in the home half of the seventh as Caroline Heller eventually came around to score the winning run on a one-out single by Molly Troutman.
Gahanna Lincoln outhit the guests by a 16-13 overall margin and also benefited from six PPHS errors. LHS stranded nine runners on base, while Point left seven on the bags.
Addie Kettle was the winning pitcher of record after allowing eight earned runs, 13 hits and two walks over seven innings while striking out three. Peyton Jordan took the loss after surrendering an unearned run and five hits over 1⅓ frames of relief.
Jordan, Tanner King and Kelsey Price led PPHS with three hits apiece, followed by Swain, Leah Cochran, Izzy King and Madilyn Keefer with a safety apiece.
Price drove in three RBIs and Tanner King knocked in two runs. Kelsie Byus and Monica Cook each scored twice in the setback.
Kettle helped her own cause with two home runs and three RBIs, while Lauren Ringhiser also contributed three safeties in the winning effort.
The Lady Knights shook off the heartbreaking effects of Game 1 in the Friday finale, rallying from an early 2-0 deficit to secure a 9-2 cushion after one complete.
Price provided the eventual game-winning RBI by doubling home Tanner King for a 3-2 edge. Jordan capped the nine-run first with a one-out grand slam over the left-center field fence.
PPHS added two runs in the second for an 11-2 cushion, but Belpre answered with a run in the top-half of the third to close the gap down to eight. Cochran added solo homers to right-center in the third and fifth frames to wrap up the mercy-rule decision.
Point Pleasant outhit the guests by a 13-8 overall margin and also committed only one of the three errors in the contest. The Lady Golden Eagles left seven on base, while the hosts stranded four on the bags.
Jordan picked up the victory after allowing three runs (one earned) and six hits over three innings while striking out six.
Cochran led the Lady Knights with three hits, followed by Price and Amber Hatfield with a pair of hits apiece. Jordan, Byus, Keefer, Tanner King, Izzy King and Lila Beattie also had a safety apiece in the triumph.
Jordan led the Red and Black with four RBIs and Cochran added three RBIs to go along with a team-best four runs scored. Hatfield also drove in two RBIs, while Jordan and Price each scored two runs.
Point Pleasant was never really in contention during Saturday finale against PHSN as the Lady Panthers stormed out to an 8-1 cushion through one inning of play. Pickerington North then added another seven consecutive runs to secure a 15-1 edge midway through the fourth.
The Lady Knights added a pair of runs in the home half of the fourth to close within a dozen, then both teams tacked on a run in the fifth to wrap up the mercy-rule outcome.
The Purple and Black outhit PPHS by a 16-10 overall margin and also committed only one of the four errors in the contest. The hosts stranded 11 runners on base, while Pickerington North left six on the bags.
Schultz was the winning pitcher of record after allowing three earned runs, 10 hits and four walks over five innings while striking out four. Jordan took the loss after surrendering eight runs (seven earned), seven hits and a walk over one-third of an inning of work.
Hannah Smith led Point Pleasant with three hits, followed by Byus, Hatfield and Tanner King with two safeties apiece. Jordan also had a hit in the setback, while Byus led the team with two RBIs.
Moler paced the Lady Panthers with three hits, while Blazek knocked in a team-high four RBIs.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.