PARKERSBURG - It was truly a day to remember for Parkersburg High freshman Kelsey Goots.
The game-winning pitcher socked the game-winning solo homer with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning to snap a 5-5 tie and give PHS to a 6-5 softball victory over Parkersburg South Wednesday afternoon at Godbey Field to square the two-team best-of-three Class AAA Region I, Section 2 tournament at a game apiece.
Wednesday's result forces a deciding third game at 5 p.m. today at Jackson Park in Vienna between the 18-12 Big Reds and the 8-22 Patriots, with the winner advancing to regional play.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg's Kelsey Goots rounds second base with a big smile after hitting the game-winning home run against Parkersburg South in game two of their Class AAA sectional tournament Wednesday. Parkersburg evened the tournament at one game each with a 6-5 win.
After a 5-5 deadlock through five innings, Goots came to the plate in the last of the seventh and belted a pitch from Megan Bosley over the left-center field fence to not only give her team the win, but also notch the pitching decision after a four-strikeout, one-walk complete-game performance.
"It felt good," said Goots of her double accomplishment on the day. It was her first homer of the season in her first season as a Big Red. "I'm proud of myself and I'm proud of my teammates."
South, though, started off Wednesday's contest by jumping out to a 3-0 lead through an inning and a half.
Logan Somerville led off the game by tripling past third base down into the left-field corner. A walk and infield single followed to load the bases with one out before Anna Richards lined a two-run single to left.
And in the top of the second, a two-out Somerville single preceded Kristen Hamilton's low liner just out of reach of diving shortstop Kaleigh Westfall into left field, where it got by the outfielder to allow Somerville to score.
But PHS rallied back with a three-run second to knot the count at 3-all as the Big Reds batted around.
Five straight hits after two were out produced the runs, with Morgan Lanham punching a two-RBI single past a drawn-in Patriot infield and Brittany Allison singling up the middle to plate run No. 3 for the Big Reds.
PHS went ahead 4-3 in the last of the third as South changed pitchers and Baylee Hilling greeted Bosley by socking her first pitch of the frame for a solo shot over the left-field fence.
The fifth saw both teams score. First, the Patriots got two runs on a couple of back-to-back errors to move ahead, 5-4, only to watch the Big Reds tie things up at 5-5 on a delayed double steal of home by Westfall.
"Our girls played a good, solid game today," said South head coach Jenny Null. "And now there's tomorrow. But you can't dwell on this one. We did some really good things again today, so I'm very optimistic about tomorrow."