HARTFORD, W.Va. — The Lady Falcons’ 2017 postseason is off to a booming start.
The Wahama softball team scored the first six runs of its 7-3 victory over Wirt County, in a Class A Region 4, Section 1 tournament game, on Wednesday in Mason County.
The Lady Falcons (22-8) — winners of 13 straight — were held to a single in each of the first two innings, but got things going in the third frame.
Amara Helton led off the inning with a bunt single and then moved to second base on a sac-bunt by Hannah Rose. After a flyout, WHS sophomore Ashtyn Russell hit an infield single, allowing Helton to score from second base for the game’s first run.
Wahama gained some breathing room in with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Emily VanMatre tripled and then scored on a single by Alexis Mick. Later in the frame, Logan Eades scored on a Rose sac-fly, and then Hannah Billups drove Cynthia Hendrick to give WHS a 4-0 lead.
With two outs in the home half of the fifth inning, Hendrick singled home Emily VanMatre, and then Eades scored on a throwing error, giving the Lady Falcons a 6-0 advantage.
The Lady Tigers (18-12) still hadn’t recorded a hit by the time they scored for the first time, in the top of the fifth inning. WCHS began the inning with back-to-back walks and, after a sac-bunt, both runs scored on an error.
Wahama added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, as Rose led off the frame with an inside-the-park home run.
Wirt County came up with its first hit of the night with one out in the top of the seventh, but a fielder’s choice on the next at-bat was the second out of the frame. After a dropped third strike and a throwing error, WCHS scored its third run of the game, on a passed ball. However, Wahama got the flyout they needed to seal the 7-3 victory.
“We didn’t play out best ball, but we did what we needed to do to win,” said WHS head coach Mike Wolfe. “That’s what good teams do, even on the days when they don’t bring their best game, they still play well enough to win. Wirt County is a good team, they’re one of the top teams we’ve seen as far as pitcher-catcher combo.”
Hendrick struck out four batters in a complete game and was the winning pitcher of record for Wahama, allowing three unearned runs, on one hit and four walks.
Jessica Lockhart suffered the loss in the circle for WCHS, allowing seven runs, on 11 hits and one hit batter, while striking out three in a complete game.
Mick led the Lady Falcons at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a run batted in. Helton was 2-for-3 with a run scored in the win, Rose was 1-for-2 with a home run, a run scored and an RBI, while Emily VanMatre was 1-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored.
Hendrick helped her own cause with a single, a run scored and an RBI, Billups and Russell both contributed a single and an RBI, while Taylor McGrew singled once and Eades scored twice.
Kassidy Root recorded the lone WCHS hit, a single in the seventh inning.
Wahama committed four errors and left six runners on base, while Wirt County had three errors and left five runners on.
The Lady Falcons have now defeated Wirt County three times this spring, winning by counts of 6-3 and 5-1 on March 18 and April 14 respectively.
Wahama is back in tournament action at home on Thursday, when Williamstown visits Hartford for a rematch of last season’s regional final.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.
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