POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — When things were at their worst, they took a turn for the best.
The Point Pleasant softball team overcame a two-run deficit by scoring six times in the bottom half of the second and ultimately held on for a 6-2 victory over visiting Winfield in a Class AA Region IV, Section 1 winner’s bracket semifinal matchup in Mason County.
The second-seeded Lady Knights (16-6) were able to snap a three-game losing skid while also securing their third consecutive decision over the third-seeded Lady Generals (20-10), although nothing about this outcome was similar to the 20-5 and 11-3 triumphs posted during the regular season.
Both teams sent the minimal three batters to the plate in a scoreless first, but the Green and White opened the scoring in the top of the second as an Abigail Lloyd leadoff walk turned into a 1-0 advantage with the half of a K.K. Short triple.
Short later scored on a passed ball that quickly gave WHS a 2-0 advantage nine outs into regulation.
The Red and Black, however, sent nine batters to the plate in the home half of the second, which resulted in six runs on four hits, two walks and an error.
Rylee Cochran led the inning off with a walk, then advanced to second a single by Hayley Keefer. Kit Stroud followed with a walk that loaded the bases, then Julia Parsons provided a single that knocked in both Cochran and Hayley Keefer for a two-all tie.
Madilyn Keefer then reached on an error that allowed Stroud to score the eventual game-winner while taking a 3-2 edge.
Parsons came around to score on an Amber Hatfield double, then Madilyn Keefer crossed home plate on a sacrifice fly to left by Peyton Jordan for a 5-2 cushion. Tayah Fetty also knocked in Hatfield with a one-out single to center that tripled the lead out to 6-2.
PPHS mustered only two baserunners the rest of the way, while the Lady Generals produced five baserunners beyond the second frame — including a bases-loaded situation with two away in the seventh.
Faith Gaylor smacked a line drive straight at Fetty at second base, and the freshman squeezed the final out to wrap up the four-run outcome.
The win allows Point Pleasant to advance to the Region IV, Section 1 winner’s bracket final at 6 p.m. Friday. The Lady Knights will host fourth-seeded Nitro, who knocked off top-seeded Sissonville by a 5-3 count in the other winner’s bracket semifinal.
Point Pleasant outhit the guests by a 5-3 overall margin and also committed only one of the three errors in the contest. Winfield stranded six runners on base, while the hosts left only two on the bags.
Cochran was the winning pitcher of record after allowing one earned run, three hits and five walks over seven innings while striking out six. Elyssa Medley took the loss after surrendering five earned runs, four hits and two walks over two frames.
Fetty paced PPHS with two hits, while Parsons, Hatfield and Hayley Keefer added a safety apiece in the triumph. Parsons also knocked in a game-high two RBIs.
Short led Winfield with two hits and drove in a run, while Mackenzie Hale also provided a safety.
Point Pleasant has now won 26 of its last 32 head-to-head meetings against the Lady Generals in softball.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.