Lady Knights split pair at JMHS

By Bryan Walters -

GLEN DALE, W.Va. — Not all of it was good on Good Friday.

The Point Pleasant softball team split a pair on Friday afternoon after dropping a 5-3 decision to host John Marshall in the opener, then the Lady Knights bounced back nicely with an 11-4 victory over Musselman in the night cap of a non-conference doubleheader in Marshall County.

The Lady Knights (13-4) had their two-game winning streak come to an end in the first contest, despite jumping out to an early 2-1 advantage after one inning of play.

The Lady Monarchs, however, rallied with two runs in the third for a 3-2 edge, then both teams plated a run in the fourth as JMHS extended its lead out to 4-3 through four complete.

The hosts tacked on an insurance run in the fifth for a 5-3 cushion, and that advantage ultimately held up the rest of the way.

PPHS secured its only lead of the opening game in the top half of the first as Kelsie Byus drilled a two-run homer to right-center field, making it a 2-0 contest.

John Marshall, however, got an RBI double from Lauren Garcia in the home half of the first that allowed Carli Lightner to score for a 2-1 contest.

Maddy Mayle gave JMHS a 3-2 lead in the third as a double to left-center allowed Lightner and Abby Blake to score.

The Lady Knights rallied to tie things up in the fourth as Kelsey Price doubled home Rachel Keaton for a three-all contest, but the hosts answered with a Katie Whorten solo homer to recapture a 4-3 lead through four full frames.

Garcia singled home Lydia Knutsen in the fifth to wrap up the two-run outcome.

PPHS outhit the hosts by an 8-5 overall margin and neither team committed an error in the contest. The Lady Knights stranded seven runners on base, while JMHS left five on the bags.

Garcia was the winning pitcher of record after allowing three earned runs, eight hits and two walks over seven innings while striking out 10. Leah Cochran took the loss after surrendering five earned runs, three hits and five walks over four frames while fanning four.

Byus and Tanner King led the guests with two hits apiece, followed by Price, Cammy Hesson, Michaela Cottrill and Peyton Jordan with a safety each. Byus drove in two RBIs and Price also knocked in a run in the loss.

Garcia paced John Marshall with two hits, followed by Mayle, Whorten and Anna Blake with a safety apiece. Garcia and Mayle also drove in two RBIs each.

The Lady Knights trailed 1-0 after one inning and 4-1 through three frames against MHS in the finale, but the Red and Black responded with 10 unanswered runs over the next four innings en route to the seven-run triumph.

Mikky Davis gave the Lady Applemen a 1-0 edge in the bottom of the first as Brianne Stocks scored on a double, but PPHS answered with a run in the second as Megan Hammond doubled in Hannah Smith for a one-all contest.

Musselman reclaimed the lead in the third as Tierra Locke doubled home Stocks for a 2-1 edge, then Locke and Davis both scored on an error that made 4-1 through three complete.

Price singled in Cochran for a 4-2 contest, then Jordan delivered a two-out, two-RBI double to left-center that plated both Price and Hammond for a four-all tie.

Byus gave the Lady Knights a permanent lead in the fifth with a double that allowed Cottrill to score, then King grounded into a fielder’s choice that allowed Byus to score for a 6-4 cushion.

Price then followed with a two-out single up the middle that plated Smith — a courtesy runner for King — for a 7-4 advantage midway through the fifth.

Hesson delivered a two-run blast to left-center in the sixth for a 9-4 lead, then Jordan doubled home both Hammond and Smith in the seventh to wrap up the 11-4 outcome.

The Lady Knights outhit MHS by a sizable 15-5 overall margin and also committed two of the five errors in the contest. The guests stranded six runners on base, while Musselman left four on the bags.

Karson Bonecutter was the winning pitcher of record after allowing one earned run, five hits and a walk over seven innings while striking out eight. K.K. Ambrose took the loss after surrendering three earned runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning of relief in the fifth.

Price led PPHS with three hits, followed by Byus, Cochran, Hammond and Jordan with two safeties apiece. Hesson and Cottrill also had a hit each for the victors.

Jordan produced a team-high four RBIs, while Hesson and Price each knocked in two runs. Smith scored a team-best three runs, while Hesson and Price both touched home plate twice apiece.

Stocks, Locke, Davis, Haley Musselman and Anna Wolfe had a hit apiece for MHS in the setback.

Point Pleasant returns to action Monday when it makes its annual week-long trip to play in a tournament at Myrtle Beach.

NOTE: Due to an early weekend deadline, this story will appear in the Tuesday sports edition of the Point Pleasant Register.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

By Bryan Walters