POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — In a game filled with defensive gems, one error made all the difference.
A leadoff error in the bottom of the seventh ultimately proved to be the difference-maker on Wednesday night as the Point Pleasant softball team claimed a tightly-contested 1-0 victory over visiting Buffalo in a non-conference contest in Mason County.
The host Lady Knights (19-5) and Lady Bison (15-13) combined for just four hits in the seven-inning struggle, but PPHS caught the biggest break of the night in its final trip to the plate.
Leah Cochran led off the frame by reaching on a two-base error after pulling a ball to left field that bounced off of the top of the fielder’s mitt. Hannah Smith entered in as a courtesy runner for Cochran, then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tanner King that led to Point having runners on the corners with nobody out.
Megan Hammond followed by taking a 1-2 offering off of her back foot in the batter’s box, which ultimately loaded the bases. Rachel Grimm entered into the game for Hammond as a pinch-runner as Kelsey Price stepped to the plate.
Price ripped a 2-1 offering past the glove side of the BHS second baseman and as the ball trickled into left field, Smith came in from third base to score the only run of the game while wrapping up the one-run triumph.
The Red and Black — who have now won five of their last six outings — had numerous scoring opportunities throughout the course of the game. The hosts stranded runners in scoring position during the first and second frames and also had a runner doubled up at second base in the fourth.
The Blue and Gold — who have dropped three of their last four decisions — also squandered some offensive opportunities after leaving the bases loaded in the second while also stranding runners in scoring position during the third and sixth innings.
The Lady Knights outhit Buffalo by a 3-1 overall margin and also went error-free in the victory, while the guests committed a total of three errors. PPHS stranded six runners on base, while the Lady Bison left five on the bags.
Cochran was the winning pitcher of record after allowing one hit and five walks over seven innings while striking out eight. Lindsey Russell took the tough-luck loss after surrendering an unearned run and three hits over six-plus frames while fanning two.
King, Hammond and Price each had a hit for the Lady Knights. Katlynn Rasnake had the lone safety for Buffalo in the setback.
Point Pleasant returns to action Thursday when it travels to Hartford for a Mason County showdown with Wahama in a battle of 19-win teams at 5 p.m. The Lady Knights conclude regular season play Friday when they host Ripley at 5:30 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.