HARTFORD, W.Va. — The little things made a big difference in the end.
The Wahama softball team committed seven errors, which led to six unearned runs for Williamstown on Thursday night during a 7-5 setback in a Class A Region 4, Section 1 winner’s bracket final in Mason County.
The host Lady Falcons (22-9) — the second seed — had their 13-game winning streak come to an end as the fourth-seeded Lady Yellow Jackets (16-12) made the most of some extra opportunities that ultimately led to a two-run triumph.
The Red and White led 3-2 after an inning of play, but the guests tied the game with a run in the second and then took a permanent lead in the third after scoring twice for a 5-3 cushion.
Wahama rallied with a run in the fourth to pull back to within a run, but the hosts were ultimately never closer the rest of the way.
Williamstown tacked on two scores in the fifth for its biggest lead of the night at 7-4, then Wahama scored in the seventh and had the tying run at the plate with two outs and a runner on second, but a long fly ball from Taylor McGrew to centerfield ultimately came up five feet short of the fence and in the glove of Kristin Harmon for the final out of the game.
The Lady Falcons committed their seven errors in four different innings, with six of those coming in the first three frames of work as Williamstown built a 5-3 advantage. The final miscue came in the fifth and led to another unearned score for the guests.
“We had too many mistakes and that was what cost us the game. They took advantage of our mistakes,” Wahama coach Mike Wolfe said after the game. “We’ve done that a lot this year and we’ve been able to get by in some instances, but tonight the roles were reversed.
“We will bounce back from this because we are competitive group, but the rest of how this season plays out will depend on how we bounce back. We’ll either fight or we’ll be done … but I really believe this group will fight.”
Courtney Dotson led the game off by reaching on an error and advanced to third on a double from Nellie King. Kayla Scott grounded out as Dotson scored for a 1-0 edge, then Alexis Scheckengost reached on an error that allowed King to score for an early 2-0 advantage.
The Lady Falcons, however, responded in their half of the first as Maddy VanMatre doubled home both Hannah Rose and Hannah Billups for a tie game, then VanMatre scored on an error that allowed Emily VanMatre to reach safely while giving the hosts a 3-2 lead through one complete.
Jocey West came around on an error in the second to knot things up at three, then Scheckengost and Faith Hooiser both scored on an error that followed a base hit from Darcy Johnson in the third — giving the guests a permanent lead at 5-3.
The hosts answered with a run in the third as Maddy VanMatre doubled and later scored on an error that cut the deficit down to a single run.
Williamstown started the fifth with an error and later had Chloe Hooper come around on a single from Dotson, making it a 6-4 contest. Dotson later scored the Lady Jackets’ only earned run of the night following a single from King that made it 7-4 through five complete.
Ashtyn Russell received a two-out walk in the seventh and later scored on an error that followed a single from Maddy VanMatre, cutting the deficit down to two as VanMatre stood at second with McGrew headed to the plate.
King was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two earned runs, six hits and three walks over seven innings while striking out six. McGrew surrendered one earned run, 15 hits and one walk over seven frames while fanning six.
Williamstown outhit the hosts by a 15-6 overall margin and also committed three of the 10 errors in the contest. The guests stranded 11 runners on base, while Wahama left six on the bags.
Rose and Maddy VanMatre led the Lady Falcons with three hits apiece, with VanMatre accounting for both Red and White RBIs.
Dotson paced Williamstown with four hits, followed by King and West with two safeties apiece. Harmon and Darcy Johnson also had a hit each for the victors.
Wahama’s next contest is at 3 p.m. Saturday, but the site and opponent were not determined until later Friday night.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.
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