SISSONVILLE, W. Va. —In a matter of two days, the Point Pleasant High School softball squad has swept last season’s Class AA state finalists.
That’s because — on Tuesday — the Lady Knights plated three runs through the opening three innings, and took advantage of two early errors by host Sissonville in crafting out a 4-2 visiting victory.
With the win, the Lady Knights’ second in as many games, Point Pleasant raised its record to 2-1 — following Monday night’s 3-1 win over AA runner-up Ritchie County.
Sissonville captured the Class AA state title last year.
But, it’s now all about this season — and the Lady Knights are 2-for-2 already this week.
Both pitchers went the distance on Tuesday, as Point Pleasant’s Karissa Cochran — after Monday’s 16-strikeout effort against Ritchie County — came back with a four-hit, one-walk performance against the Lady Indians.
She struck out three and allowed only one earned run, which was a solo home run by Sissonville’s Alexee Haynes in the fourth inning.
The only other hits that Cochran gave up were first and sixth-inning singles by Taylor Casto, and a two-out single by Karli Pinkerton in the fifth.
She retired the side 1-2-3 in innings two, three and seven — and of her 83 total pitches, exactly 60 went for strikes.
Haynes had walked in the first and Casto singled, but Cochran came back to strike out Reagan Johnson to end the inning.
With Point Pleasant leading 3-1 in the fourth, and following Haynes’ home run, Johnson trimmed the deficit to 3-2 after reaching on an error and scoring on a wild pitch.
But Cochran retired the next four Indians she faced, before allowing Pinkerton’s single in the fifth.
With the Lady Knights ahead 4-2 in the sixth, Haynes reached on Point Pleasant’s other error — and Casto singled again for runners at second and third.
However, Cochran charged back one more time to retire the next three Indians, followed by her 1-2-3 effort in the last.
Haynes battled Cochran in the circle, also allowing four hits, one walk and only one earned run.
She retired the Lady Knights 1-2-3 in innings one, four, six and seven.
She also struck out eight, but two costly Indian errors led directly to three unearned runs which proved to be the difference.
In the second stanza, Point Pleasant’s Kelsey Byus reached on an error to lead off, as Michaela Cottrill singled and Tanner King reached on a dropped third strike to load the bases.
With two outs, Rachel Grimm then doubled in Byus and Cottrill for the early 2-0 advantage.
In the next frame, and again with two outs, Megan Hammond had a double to drive in Cochran, who reached on the second Indian error.
Leading 3-2 in the fifth, Point Pleasant added an insurance marker when Cammy Hesson singled to lead off, advanced to third two batters later on a wild pitch, and scored on a Byus RBI-groundout.
The Lady Knights returned to the road on Wednesday when they traveled to Parkersburg South.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106