POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Picking up right where they left off.
The Point Pleasant softball team — fresh off a 24-10 season a year ago — kicked off the 2017 campaign in convincing style Tuesday night during a three-inning, 10-0 mercy-rule decision over visiting Wirt County in a non-conference matchup in Mason County.
The Lady Knights (1-0) pounded out 10 hits and benefited from five WCHS errors en route to the double-digit triumph. Of those 10 runs, only three were earned.
PPHS also received a solid effort from starter Karson Bonecutter, who allowed only one hit and one walk over three innings of work while striking out two.
Both teams stranded two runners apiece on the bags, and the Lady Knights played an error-free contest.
“We’re just happy to finally get a game in with all of the rain that we’ve had,” PPHS softball coach James Higginbotham said afterwards. “Karson pitched a really good game and the girls did a good job of fielding the ball behind her. I was also glad that the girls put the ball in play offensively. We hit the ball hard and they had some troubles fielding it, but the key was that we put the ball in play at the plate. It’s a good win and a good start.”
The Lady Wolves (0-1) got their first baserunner of the night on a two-out walk to Kassidy Root in the second. Cami Winnell also had a single to lead off the top of the third, but that was all the damage that guests mustered.
Point Pleasant, on the other hand, received a big break in the bottom of the first as three consecutive WCHS errors allowed both Kelsie Byus and Leah Cochran to score with two outs in the frame — making it a 2-0 contest after one full inning.
The Lady Knights erupted with eight runs in the bottom of the second as the hosts produced eight hits and benefited from two more errors while establishing a 10-run edge through two complete.
The highlight of the home half of the second came when Kelsey Price lifted a three-run homer over the left-center field fence, giving Point a 9-0 cushion at the time.
Point Pleasant scored all eight of its runs with two outs in the second frame. In fact, all 10 Lady Knight scores came with two away in those respective first two innings.
Byus, Michaela Cottrill and Lila Beattie led PPHS with two hits apiece, followed by Cochran, Price, Peyton Jordan and Megan Hammond with a safety apiece.
Price led the hosts with three RBIs and Cottrill also drove in two runs. Byus, Beattie and Tenner King also knocked in a run each.
Byus and Cochran scored twice apiece to lead Point Pleasant, while Jordan, Cottrill, Price, Hammond, Beattie and Hannah Smith also crossed home plate one time each.
Jessica Lockhart took the tough-luck loss for Wirt County after allowing 10 runs (three earned), 10 hits and zero walks over two frames.
Point Pleasant returns to action Wednesday when it hosts Wahama at 5:30 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.