HARTFORD, W.Va. — Simply survive and advance.
The top-seeded Wahama softball team opened the Class A Region IV, Section 1 tournament with a 4-2 victory over fourth-seeded Williamstown on Wednesday in Mason County, and the Lady Falcons will be back in their home field to face second-seeded Ravenswood on Thursday.
Williamstown (8-24) — which advanced to the game with a 13-4 win over fifth-seeded Wirt County — broke the scoreless tie on Wednesday with two runs in the top of the third inning.
The Lady Falcons (25-1) got one run back in home half of the third, as Emma Gibbs singled home Hannah Rose. Wahama tied the game at two in the following inning, with Rose singling home Hannah Billups.
The Red and White then took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth, as Billups singled home both Tanner King and Lauren Noble.
Williamstown put two runners in scoring position in the with two outs in the top of the seventh, but left the go-ahead run at the plate and fell by a 4-2 final.
Following the victory, first-year Wahama head coach Chris Noble talked about the importance of starting the postseason on the right foot, as well as what’s led his club to 25 wins on the year.
“It’s big to get that first win so that we don’t get in the losers’ bracket,” Coach Noble said. “We played nearly a perfect defensive game. The hitting needs to pick up a little bit like it was at the beginning of the year, but we’ll be alright. We have a super group of girls, they have great attitudes and a lot of talent.”
Wahama has now won 21 straight decisions, including a 14-1 triumph on April 10 at Williamstown, and a 8-7 win over the Lady Yellow Jackets on April 16 in Hartford.
Rose earned the pitching win in a complete game for the hosts, allowing two earned runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out two.
Sarah Hendrickson, Aiyana Hancock and Gracie Graham shared the pitching duties for Williamstown, giving up four earned runs on eight hits with five walks. Graham was the losing pitcher of record for the guests, while Hendrickson had a team-best two strikeouts.
Leading the Lady Falcons at the plate, Billups was 2-for-3 with a run scored and two runs batted in, Rose was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI, while Gibbs went 2-for-4 and drove in one run. Emily VanMatre and Victoria VanMatre had a single apiece for the hosts, while King and Noble both scored once.
Jocey West paced Williamstown at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a run scored. Brittney Hooper doubled once and scored once, while Kristin Vigneron picked up a single and an RBI.
Both teams committed an error in the contest, and Wahama left 10 runners on base, four more than Williamstown.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.