HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Finishing on a solid note.
The Point Pleasant softball team ended the regular season in style after picking up a pair of victories over host Huntington on Friday by margins of 11-3 and 10-2 in a non-conference doubleheader in Cabell County.
The Lady Knights (16-6) led wire-to-wire in both contests as the guests broke away from an early 2-1 edge in Game 1 by scoring nine consecutive runs before completing their first eight-run mercy-rule triumph in five innings.
PPHS followed by scoring seven runs in the top of the first in Game 2, then tacked on three more scores in the fourth while matching its largest lead of the day at 10-0.
The Lady Highlanders rallied with a run apiece in the fourth and fifth frames, but ultimately ran out of outs as the Red and Black wrapped up another eight-run mercy-rule in five frames.
The Lady Knights started the opener with a pair of runs in the top of the first as Leah Cochran singled home Peyton Jordan with the eventual game-winning run, then Kelsey Price lifted a sacrifice fly to right that allowed Monica Cook to score for a 2-0 advantage.
HHS rallied with a run in the home half of the first as Kyra Jones scored on a Jade Fleeman ground out, cutting the deficit in half after a full inning of play.
Both teams went scoreless in the second, but Point Pleasant ended up sending 10 batters to the plate in the top of the third — which led to five runs on seven hits and a sacrifice fly while building a 7-1 edge.
The Lady Knights ended up sending another 10 batters to the plate in the fifth, which yielded four runs on five hits, a walk and a hit batter — giving the guests an 11-1 lead.
Huntington used a walk, an error and a fielder’s choice to produce two runs in the home half of the fifth, but the final two HHS batters ended up becoming outs — allowing Point Pleasant to wrap up the 11-3 triumph.
PPHS hammered out 17 of the 20 hits in the contest and also committed only one error, compared to three by the Green and Gold. The guests stranded 10 runners on base, while HHS left only four on the bags.
Cochran was the winning pitcher of record after allowing one earned run, three hits and two walks over five innings while striking out six. Fleeman took the loss after surrendering 11 earned runs, 17 hits and two walks over five frames while fanning three.
Jordan, Cochran, Price and Hannah Smith had three hits apiece to lead Point Pleasant, followed by Kelsie Byus with two safeties. Tanner King, Shala Swain and Lila Beattie also had a hit apiece in the victory.
Jordan and Price both drove in a team-high three RBIs each, while Cook added three runs scored. Jordan and Byus also scored twice apiece in the triumph.
Jones led Huntington with two hits and two runs scored, while Cahley Farrell added the other safety.
The Red and Black picked right up where they left off in the night cap after sending 11 batters to the plate in the top of the first, which resulted in seven runs on four hits, three walks and two errors.
Tanner King singled home Jordan with nobody out in the first, allowing the guests to take a permanent lead at 1-0.
After going down in order in the second and third frames, the Lady Knights sent another nine batters to the plate in the top of the fourth. The end result was three runs on three hits, three walks, two fielder’s choices, an error and a wild pitch, making it a 10-0 contest.
The Lady Highlanders tacked on a run apiece in the fourth and fifth frames, but ultimately ran out of time as the guests wrapped up the eight-run outcome in mercy-rule fashion.
Point Pleasant outhit the hosts by an 8-5 overall margin and also committed only two of the five errors in the contest. PPHS stranded seven runners on base, while HHS left four on the bags.
Madilyn Keefer was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two earned runs, five hits and two walks over five innings while striking out one. Jones took the loss after surrendering seven runs (two earned), three hits and three walks in two-thirds of an inning while fanning one.
Byus led the guests with three hits and three RBIs, followed by Jordan and King with two safeties apiece. Keefer also had a hit for the victors. Keefer also knocked in two RBIs, while Jordan, Byus and King each scored twice.
Jenni Adkins paced HHS with two hits and an RBI, while Hannah Toppins had a safety and knocked in a run. Jones, Fleeman and Katie Wooten also had a hit each in the setback.
The Lady Knights — who drew a three-seed — open tournament play on Tuesday when they host Sissonville at 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.