HARTFORD, W.Va. — In all fairness, the last time Wahama lost … the Red and White followed it up by winning 23 games in-a-row over a span of 11-plus weeks.
For now, the Lady Falcons are only concerned about reestablishing a winning streak over the next few days.
It took eight innings, but the Wahama softball team suffered its first loss since late March on Tuesday night during a 7-2 setback to visiting Sherman in the opening game of the Class A Region IV championships held in Mason County.
The host Lady Falcons (27-2) built a quick 2-0 advantage in the bottom half of the first, but a trio of singles and an error allowed the Lady Tide (29-4) to plate a pair of runs in the top of the fourth — tying the contest at two apiece.
Despite numerous chances on both sides, the score remained deadlocked at two through the end of seven innings of regulation.
SHS, however, put together six hits and also benefited from an error in the top half of the eighth, which resulted in five runs and a commanding 7-2 cushion entering the home half of the eighth.
WHS received a leadoff double from Tanner King, who was eventually thrown out at third during a pivotal double play that resulted in the first two outs of the frame. The hosts followed with a 1-3 groundout to wrap up the final five-run outcome.
The win allows Sherman to take a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three series, which shifts to Boone County on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. Wahama needs to win that contest to force an all-decisive Game 3 back in Hartford on Thursday evening at 6 p.m.
The Lady Falcons opened up a two-run advantage in the bottom of the first as Maddy VanMatre received a two-out walk and later scored on a double by Tanner King to right-center. King eventually crossed home plate on an error that allowed Lauren Noble to reach safely for a 2-0 edge.
Wahama ended up stranding runners at second and third in the bottom of the fourth, then left the bases loaded with two away in the sixth. WHS also had runners at second and third with one away in the sixth frame.
Sherman ended its scoring drought in the top half of the fourth as Hailea Skeens, Chelsea Thompson and Sydnee Ferrell provided three consecutive singles with one away. Skeens scored on the Ferrell single to make it a 2-1 contest.
With runners at second and third, a return throw to the pitcher missed its mark and allowed Chelsea Thompson to come home on the error — ultimately knotting things up at two apiece.
The Maroon and Gold — who stranded runners in scoring position in both the third and sixth innings — took their first lead of the game after back-to-back doubles from Autumn Thompson and Haylee Clendenin resulted in Thompson scoring for a 3-2 edge.
A passed ball moved Clendenin to third, then Skeens singled to left as Clendenin came home for a 4-2 cushion with one away.
Autumn Thompson and Ferrell followed with consecutive singles, with Ferrell’s safety bringing in Skeens for a 5-2 edge. An error on the Ferrell hit also allowed Autumn Thompson to come around and score for a 6-2 contest.
Ferrell later scored on a single by Zoie Hess to wrap up the five-run outcome.
Sherman outhit the hosts by a 10-7 overall margin and also committed only one of the four errors in the contest. Wahama stranded seven runners on base, while the guests left five on the bags.
Autumn Thompson was the winning pitcher of record after allowing one earned run, seven hits and three walks over eight innings while striking out five. Hannah Rose took the loss for WHS after surrendering six earned runs, 10 hits and two walks over eight frames while fanning two.
Rose and King paced the Lady Falcons with two hits apiece, followed by Noble, Emma Gibbs and Victoria VanMatre with a safety apiece. King also accounted for the hosts’ lone RBI.
Skeens led SHS with three hits, with Ferrell and Chelsea Thompson adding two safeties apiece to the winning cause. Clendenin, Hess and Autumn Thompson also had a hit each for the Lady Tide, while Ferrell knocked in a game-high two RBIs.
Wahama’s only other loss of the year came at the hands of Meigs by a 4-2 count on March 23.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.