Big Reds softball gets 8-5 victory

PARKERSBURG – Visiting Parkersburg High forged a 6-0 lead before Parkersburg South scored, then had to stave off the rallying Patriots to post an 8-5 softball win Thursday at Godbey Field.

South, now 2-9, got as close as 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth inning before the Big Reds, now 7-4, plated two more runs in the top of the seventh en route to the victory.

PHS tallied three times in the top of the second to open the scoring. A two-base error on Sarah Nay’s two-out, two-on single to left let both Big Red base-runners score, and Kelsey Goots followed with an RBI double into the right-center field gap.

It became 4-0 in the third on an South error and Brittany Allison’s RBI double grounded past second base that rolled almost to the outfield fence.

In the PHS fifth, Baylee Hilling’s two-run double lined over the third-base bag and down into the left-field corner upped the lead to 6-0.

The Patriots finally lit up the scoreboard in the last of the fifth as Paige Gribble’s single up the middle produced their first two runs of the game, and Nicole Landis then doubled their run total to four by launching a two-run shot over the left-field fence, narrowing the gap to 6-4.

And South inched within a run in the sixth. Back-to-back, two-out fielding miscues by the Big Reds kept the inning alive and a walk loaded the bases before Trinity Fury beat out an infield single to third to plate the run.

But in the top of the seventh, PHS stretched the lead back to three at 8-5. A two-out hard shot off the bat of Kayleigh Westfall that ricocheted off the third baseman went for a run-scoring infield single, and Taylor Beckley’s pop-fly to short right fell in for an RBI single.

The South seventh started with a throwing error. But a strikeout followed and then a game-ending double play as a slow liner was grabbed by the first baseman, who threw back to first base for the twin killing.

“We hit the ball well all day, I thought,” said third-year PHS head coach Ron Perdue, whose team totaled 13 hits. “Toward the end, we faltered a little bit though, but got a couple of key runs there in the seventh when we needed them.

“Any time, you beat them, it’s big. It’s good for our confidence. I’m really glad for our seniors; it’s only the second time they’ve beaten them since they’ve been here.”

“I’m very proud of our girls,” said South head coach Jenny Null. “They never gave up. But obviously, there’s some things we definitely need to work on – fielding and base-running in particular. Give credit to PHS though. They’re a good-hitting team, but it doesn’t help that we helped them along a few times too.

“We did battle back, but couldn’t get the timely hits when we needed them. But that’s sort of been the story of our season thus far. But it’s something we can work on to try and get better at because I’d rather have that happen now than late in the season when everything’s on the line.”