POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Figuring it ended even earlier than it should have, the Lady Dots should have had no problem making it back in time for graduation.
Point Pleasant jumped out to a 7-0 lead and wrapped things up in six innings on Tuesday afternoon with a 12-4 victory over fifth seeded Poca in the opening round of the Class AA Region IV, Section 1 softball tournament.
The fourth seeded Lady Knights (15-10) had to adjust their first pitch schedule to 1 p.m. Tuesday to accommodate Poca’s graduation ceremony later that evening, and the hosts followed by building leads of 4-0, 6-0 and 7-0 after each of the first three frames en route to the wire-to-wire win.
The Lady Dots countered with four runs in the top of the fourth to make things interesting at 7-4, but PPHS responded with five unanswered runs the rest of the way to complete the 8-run mercy rule outcome in six innings.
Point Pleasant advances to face top seeded Winfield on Wednesday in the winner’s bracket semifinal. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.
Four different Point Pleasant players knocked in a run in the first inning, which included a Havin Roush single that plated Hayley Keefer with what proved to be the eventual game-winner.
Kylie Price added a 2-RBI double in the second for a 6-run edge, then Haley Bryant walked and later scored on an error in the third for a 7-0 advantage.
A wild pitch and an RBI single by Kamryn Starcher allowed PHS to close to within 7-2, then Kami Williams added a 2-RBI single to make it a 3-run contest midway through four complete.
The Lady Knights — who went scoreless only in the bottom of the fourth inning — added another run in the fifth as Kaylee Byus scored on a 4-base error for an 8-4 edge.
Price doubled home a pair of runs with one away in the sixth, then Byus hit a sacrifice fly that allowed Price to score for an 11-4 lead.
Julia Parsons followed by reaching safely on an error, which also allowed Emma Harbour to come home with the final run to complete things in a walkoff fashion.
PPHS outhit the guests by an 11-6 overall margin and Poca committed all five errors in the game.
Rylee Cochran allowed six hits and two walks over six innings and struck out nine for the winning decision.
Roush and Cochran paced the hosts with three hits apiece, followed by Price with two safeties and a team-best five RBIs. Jaidyn Patrick also scored a game-high three runs for the Lady Knights.
Williams led Poca with two hits and two RBIs. Kamryn Starcher also added a safety and drove in a run.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.