MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — A Mountain State matchup right next to the beach.
The Point Pleasant softball team improved to 4-0 in the Palmetto State on Thursday after claiming a hard-fought 3-0 victory over fellow West Virginia program Keyser during a non-conference contest in Horry County.
The Lady Knights (17-4) picked up its fifth straight win in dramatic fashion as the guests scored a run in each of the final three frames to remain unbeaten near the Grand Strand part of the Atlantic coastline.
PPHS and the Lady Tornadoes (12-9) — both Class AA programs in West Virginia — battled through four scoreless frames, but the Red and Black finally ended the scoreless drought in the top of the fifth as Cammy Hesson hit a sacrifice fly to center that allowed Karson Bonecutter to score for a 1-0 edge.
The Lady Knights added to their lead in the sixth as Tanner King doubled in Kelsie Byus for a 2-0 cushion, then Michaela Cottrill doubled home Hesson in the seventh en route to a 3-0 advantage.
KHS — which produced five hits in the first four innings — mustered only one baserunner over the final three frames and went down in order in the seventh, allowing Point Pleasant to secure the three-run triumph.
Keyser outhit the guests by a slim 7-6 overall margin, but also committed the only two errors of the game. KHS stranded seven runners on base, while the Lady Knights left six on the bags.
Peyton Jordan was the winning pitcher of record after allowing seven hits over seven innings while striking out one. Aubrey Smith took the loss after surrendering two earned runs, six hits and three walks over seven frames while fanning three.
King led PPHS with two hits, followed by Cottrill, Byus, Jordan and Hannah Smith with a safety apiece. Hesson, Cottrill and King each drove in a run, while Hesson, Byus and Bonecutter accounted for a run apiece.
Tori Kane paced Keyser with two hits, followed by Madison Rotruck, Madison Anderson, Lucy Jordan, McKenna Myers and Courtney Minnick with a safety apiece.
It was the first shutout win in the Palmetto State for PPHS, which has now outscored opponents by a 38-3 margin in four games this week.
Point Pleasant concludes its trip on Friday with a contest against Penfield. The Lady Knights defeated PHS by a 13-1 count in four innings last Monday in the tournament opener.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.