PHS tops rival South, 5-1

PARKERSBURG – Second baseman Taylor Beckley squeezed a soft pop for the 21st out Tuesday night at Don Godbey Memorial Park as visiting Parkersburg sealed a 5-1 victory against Parkersburg South in the opening game of the Class AAA, Region I, Section 2 softball tournament.

The triumph for PHS head coach Ron Perdue’s club marked just the second ever red and white postseason win versus the rival Patriots, who will try to stave off elimination at 5 p.m. today when the two programs meet again at Jackson Park.

“I’m really proud of the girls. South is a seasoned team and our job is not done,” said Perdue, who watched Cassidy Newbrough throw a complete-game six-hitter in which she lost her shutout bid in the bottom of the seventh.

“I thought we played really great defense today. This (sectional title) is one of our goals and our seniors wanted it bad. We still got to have good pitching and we have to hit the ball.”

Parkersburg, which improved to 15-18 and sets a new school record for wins with each triumph, got the only two runs it ended up needing in the top of the third. No. 9 hitter Courtney Bee got things started with a single to center and was then replaced by pinch-runner Hailey Ball. After Morgan Lanham reached via an infield slap single, both runners came home on consecutive Parkersburg South errors.

“We came into this just like it was another game and didn’t pay attention to the name on the uniform,” said the senior Bee, who also walked and scored in the seventh. “It was just another game. We have to keep our heads up and not worry about (the win) today.”

The Big Reds added another unearned run off Patriot losing hurler Morgan Trippett in the sixth when Newbrough singled to left and moved to second on an error. Courtesy runner Ari Mercer then crossed the plate when Mallory Goots launched a laser off the fence in center for a long RBI single.

After Bee drew a one-out free pass in the seventh, Kaleigh Westfall reached on a two-out single and Big Red catcher Brittany Allison laced a two-run double down the line in left. Westfall had a stand-up triple in the first to finish 2 for 4.

Parkersburg South, which dropped to 9-22, finally got on the board in the seventh when Megan Bosley walked and scored on Logan Somerville’s RBI single to right. Somerville went 3 for 4 while Patriot catcher Trinity Fury went 2 for 3. Hannah Wilson had the Patriots’ only other hit, a single to left in the fifth.