POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Hardly a fairy-tale ending.
Visiting Athens scored five runs in the top of the seventh and ultimately held on for a 9-5 victory over the Point Pleasant softball team on Saturday in a non-conference matchup in Mason County.
The host Lady Knights (15-6) dropped their third consecutive decision after letting a 5-4 edge slip away in the last frame of play. The Lady Bulldogs also never led in the game until the final inning.
The Red and Black built a 1-0 lead in the first as Peyton Jordan scored on a successful double steal with nobody out.
With the bases loaded and one away in the top of the second, Ami Brannan hit a sacrifice fly to left that plated Katie Kish for a one-all contest.
Point, however, answered with a run in its half of the second as Jordan singled in Julia Parsons with two away for a 2-1 cushion.
The Lady Knights claimed their largest lead of the night after plating three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Jordan again scored on a double steal, then Hayley Keefer delivered a two-out double that drove in both Tayah Fetty and Rylee Cochran for a 5-1 advantage.
Kailyn Sharp doubled home both Taylor Orcutt and Anna Chen with nobody out in the fifth, then Sharp came plateward on a triple by Kaylee Stewart that closed the gap down to 5-4.
After a scoreless sixth, the Green and Gold sent nine batters to the plate in the top of the seventh. Point recorded two outs to start the frame, but three errors and three hits followed while turning a one-run edge into a four-run deficit.
Ellianna Toppercer reached safely on an error and Kish followed with a single, then Toppercer scored on an Olivia Kaiser double for a tie game. Somnia Keesey then reached on an error that allowed Kish to score the eventual game-winner.
Brannan doubled home Kaiser for a 7-5 lead, then both Kaiser and Keesey came in on an error that allowed Orcutt to reach safely while increasing the advantage out to 9-5.
Point Pleasant received a two-out single from Madilyn Keefer in the seventh, but ultimately ran out of chances in the four-run setback.
Both teams produced nine hits apiece and PPHS also committed four of the seven errors in the game. The hosts stranded 10 runners on base, while the Green and Gold left seven on the bags.
Stewart was the winning pitcher of record after allowing four earned runs, 10 hits and two walks over seven innings while striking out two. Jordan took the loss after surrendering five unearned runs and three hits over an inning of relief while fanning one.
Jordan paced the Lady Knights with three hits and two runs scored, followed by Fetty, Cochran and Hayley Keefer with two safeties apiece. Madilyn Keefer also added a hit in the setback, while Hayley Keefer also drove in two RBIs.
Sharp and Keesey led Athens with two hits each, with Stewart, Kish, Kaiser, Brannan and Orcutt also providing a safety apiece. Sharp and Brannan also drove in two RBIs each in the victory.
Point Pleasant begins Class AA Region IV, Section 1 play on Wednesday as the second-seeded Lady Knights will host the winner of the Poca-Winfield on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.