Calhoun girls dominate Wirt County, 19-2

Calhoun County sophomore Summer Jones pitched a four-inning two-hitter in her first career start as the Red Devils defeated Wirt County, 19-2, on Thursday at Godbey Field. She also drove in two runs. Photo by Jay W. Bennett

PARKERSBURG — There’s no substitute for experience on the softball diamond and Wirt County found that out the hard way here Thursday as the host Tigers were beaten 19-2 in four innings by Calhoun County at Godbey Field.

The Red Devils of fifth-year head coach Suzanne Allen returned their entire team after winning a sectional crown a year ago and took full advantage of 10 orange and black errors to emerge victorious in what was the season opener for both Little Kanawha Conference programs.

“We did really good for the first game of the season,” said coach Allen, who watched sophomore Summer Jones toss a two-hitter with six strikeouts to win her first varsity start. “It was a pretty good effort all the way around.”

Red Devil catcher and leadoff hitter Brogan Richards reached base every time to set the table.

She finished 3 for 4 with four runs scored, a double and three runs-batted-in. Second baseman Haley Wilson was a double shy of the cycle. She had a stand-up RBI three-bagger in the second which put the Red Devils up 5-0. The senior highlighted Calhoun County’s eight-run top of the fourth with a three-run bomb to center field off losing pitcher Maddy Richards.

“The only thing we are experienced in is inexperience,” admitted Tiger boss Aaron Hill. “We had seven seniors last year and probably six girls we had that would’ve been returning. Three decided not to play, two of which were starters.”

Paige Persinger’s RBI double plated Richards for the game’s first run. After Persinger scored on an error, Katie Jones drove in Wilson for a 3-0 cushion with a double of her own.

The Tigers, who play today at Tyler Consolidated, trailed 6-0 after the top of the second. Richards had a single and raced to third on a two-base error and scored when Persinger reached via another error. Wilson scored on a passed ball following her triple.

Malane Smith’s bunt single to open the second led to the Tigers’ first run. She advanced to third following a pair of wild pitches and scored on Mackenzie O’Meara’s RBI groundout.

Calhoun County’s 6-1 advantage quickly moved to 11-1 following a five-run third. Brandi Allen had an RBI infield single. Megan Jones reached via a hit by pitch and Summer Jones’ run-scoring double plated Allen. Richards’ RBI fielder’s choice knocked in Megan Jones and Summer Jones scored on a Tiger miscue.

Wirt County leadoff hitter and catcher Kassidy Root singled to open the third and she plated the Tigers’ other run thanks to a sacrifice fly from Maggie Bailey.

Katie Jones, who finished 3 for 4 with three runs, two doubles and an RBI, had two hits in the eight-run fourth as the Red Devils sent a dozen batters to the dish. Summer Jones had an RBI fielder’s choice, Richards had a two-run bases-loaded double to right and with one out Wilson delivered her tater. Shortstop Madison Dennis followed with a Little League home run after reaching on a bunt single and racing home on a three-base error.

The Red Devils will look for a 2-0 start when they visit Braxton County today.