PARKERSBURG - Always expect the unexpected when the teams from Parkersburg and Parkersburg South tangle with one another in any athletic contest.
That was the case Wednesday at Godbey Field when the Patriots needed back-to-back solo home runs to overcome a stubborn and determined Big Reds softball team by the score of 4-2.
"They (the back-to-back home runs) were huge momentum changers," explained Parkersburg South head coach Jenny Null. "We had done a pretty good job up until then of getting our bats on the ball, but weren't able to do much with the hits we had gotten."
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg South’s Genna Trippett leaps onto home plate after hitting a solo home run against Parkersburg Wednesday. Trippett’s blast tied the game at 2 as South rallied for a 4-2 victory.
Parkersburg, now 3-8 with a home game against South Charleston slated for a 5:30 p.m. start today at the Vienna Softball Complex, jumped on Parkersburg South starter CeCe Bailey for a pair of runs in the top of the first.
Sophomore Kaleigh Westfall sent Bailey's second offering of the game into left field for a single and came home with the game's first run one out later when freshman Brittany Allison laced an 0-1 pitch down the right field line for an RBI triple. The Parkersburg catcher then took advantage of an errant pickoff attempt by the Patriots' Genna Trippett to tally the Big Reds' second run of the inning.
Bailey, who finished with 11 strikeouts in the game, settled down and induced the Big Reds' Mallory Goots to ground out to short before striking out Lindsay Moran.
For at least one inning, however, it appeared as if Parkersburg's Cassidy Newbrough would make those runs stand up as the freshman got the Patriots' Katelyn Hamilton to pop up to second, then struck out Kristen Hamilton on four pitches.
After allowing an infield single to the Patriots' Taylor Wittekind the Big Reds hurler got out of the inning when Trippett lofted a high fly ball to right field.
Parkersburg South, which upped its mark to 3-2 on the season with a road trip to Murfeesboro, Tenn., on tap for the weekend, finally broke through in the second inning as Bailey led off with a single, advanced to second on a single by Morgan Trippett and then came home on a two-out single by sophomore Logan Somerville. The Patriots were within inches of tying the score at 2 moments later when Katelyn Hamilton drilled a single to left field to bring home Morgan Trippett.
However, on the play Somerville got caught in a rundown that ended with the Patriots' outfielder being tagged out by Parkersburg's third baseman before Trippett could reach home plate.
Bailey continued to get stronger as the game progressed, striking out two of the three batters to come to the plate in the third inning. And the Patriot bats continued to connect as Genna Trippett knotted the game at 2 with a solo home run to center field after the first two Parkersburg South batters failed to reach base. The hosts weren't finished, however, as Bailey followed that home run with one of her own two pitches later over nearly the exact same spot in the outfield.
The two-run explosion would be more than enough for the Patriots' ace as Bailey struck out two batters in each of the fourth and fifth innings and allowed a pair of singles by Parkersburg's Trinity Fury in the fifth and Jackie Buckles in the seventh.
Meanwhile, the Patriots added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth on a pair of singles by Genna Trippett and Nicole Landis and walks to Alex West and Somerville-the latter forcing in the fourth run of the game for the girls in red, white and blue.
"It was some game," explained Parkersburg head coach Ron Perdue. "This was the closest game that I can remember between this two teams."
Close, but not close enough.
"We are always talking to our girls about controlling the controllable things," said Null. "Once we settled down and played, I thought we did a very good job of doing that."