WAYNE, W.Va. — It started with a bang … and the finale was grand.
The Point Pleasant softball team scored six runs in the top of the second and ultimately cruised to its eighth straight victory Thursday night following an 11-6 decision over host Wayne in a non-conference matchup in Wayne County.
The Lady Knights (19-6) — winners of 11 of their last dozen games — never trailed in the contest as the guests sent nine batters to the plate following a scoreless first frame. PPHS followed by producing six runs on four hits, a walk and an error — allowing the Lady Knights to secure a six-run cushion after two complete.
Madison Barker started things with a leadoff single and advanced to second after an error allowed Megan Hamond to reach safely. Karson Bonecutter laid down a bunt to advance the runners, but reached safely — loading the bases with nobody out.
Michaela Cottrill walked on a full count to force in Barker with the eventual game-winning run, then Payton Fetty singled in Hamond and Bonecutter was thrown out at the plate — making it a 2-0 contest.
Cami Hesson grounded into a fielder’s choice that loaded the bases, then Makinley Higginbotham drilled a grand slam over the right-center field fence — making it a 6-0 contest.
The Lady Pioneers (15-5), however, countered with a run in the third and two more in the fourth to close to within 6-3 after four complete. Point Pleasant added a run in the top of the fifth, but the hosts countered with three scores to pull to within a single run at 7-6 through five full frames.
PPHS again sent nine batters to the plate in the sixth, which resulted in four runs on three hits and three walks — wrapping up the five-run outcome. The Lady Knights also salvaged a season split after dropping a 4-1 decision at home back on April 2.
Madison Barker was the winning pitcher of record after allowing three runs (one earned), five hits and one walk over 6.1 innings while striking out seven. Jessie Rowe suffered the loss after surrendering five walks and striking out seven over seven frames.
Point Pleasant outhit WHS by an 11-9 overall margin. Both teams committed one error and stranded six runners apiece in the contest.
Higginbotham led the guests with three hits and five RBIs, followed by Hamond and Karissa Cochran with two safeties apiece. Fetty, Barker, Bonecutter and Rebekah Darst also added a hit each to the winning cause.
Hamond also drove in three RBIs for the victors, while Higginbotham and Cochran each scored twice.
Jacey Parsons, Tara Watts and Savannah Perry each had two hits to lead Wayne. Alli Maynard drove in a team-best two RBIs.