WINFIELD, W.Va. — It only takes one.
The Point Pleasant softball team started the postseason on a solid note Tuesday night after claiming a hard-fought 1-0 victory over host Winfield in the opening game of the Class AAA Region 4, Section 1 tournament in Putnam County.
The visiting Lady Knights (22-7) — who picked up a pair of 3-2 victories over WHS in the regular season — notched its 10th consecutive win over the Lady Generals (9-17) since the 2011 campaign. PPHS — which swept Winfield out of the postseason a year ago — now owns a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
The Lady Generals outhit the guests by a 6-4 overall margin and committed two of the three errors in the contest. Both teams also stranded five runners apiece on the bags.
The difference in the outcome came in the top of the sixth after Cami Hesson led the inning off with a single, then advanced to second on an error that allowed Makinley Higginbotham to reach safely with nobody out.
Hesson advanced to third after Karissa Cochran flew out to right for the first out, then Rebekah Darst followed with a sacrifice fly to centerfield — allowing Hesson to come homeward with the eventual game-winning run.
Winfield had only two runners reach second base in the contest, which included the seventh inning after back-to-back leadoff hits by Allyson Funk and Abbie Short. Mallory Litton popped up a bunt attempt for the first out, then Madison Wall lined out to shortstop for the second out.
Litton was doubled-up on the line out by Wall, and the double play ended both the rally bid and the game.
Karissa Cochran was the winning pitcher of record after allowing zero walks and striking out eight over seven innings in the circle. Cartnet Schoolcraft suffered the loss after surrendering zero walks and fanning nine over seven frames.
Hesson, Higginbotham, Darst and Karson Bonecutter each had a hit for the victors. Funk paced WHS with two hits, while Short, Wall, Margaret Rumbaugh and Kenna Markham also added a safety apiece for the hosts.
Point Pleasant aims to clinch the Region 4, Section 1 crown Wednesday night when it again travels to Winfield for a matchup with the Lady Generals at 6 p.m.