POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Lincoln County scored the game’s opening run, but the Lady Knights took over from there and never looked back.
The Point Pleasant softball team scored nine unanswered runs to claim a 9-1 victory in six innings over the visiting Lady Panthers, on Tuesday night in Mason County.
LCHS (2-4) took the one-run lead in the top of the first when leadoff batter Rachel Pennington singled, stole two bases, and then scored on a Sarah Barrett single.
Point Pleasant (5-4) — which ended a three-game losing skid with the win — took the lead in the bottom of the first when Makinley Higginbotham tripled home Michaela Cottrill, and then scored on a Kelsie Byus single.
The Lady Knights added on to their lead in the third frame, first when Megan Hammond singled home Rachael Grimm, and again when Tanner King drove in Leah Cochran.
Higginbotham led the PPHS fourth inning off with a double, and then scored on a LCHS error to make the Lady Knights’ advantage 5-1. Later in the fourth frame, Grimm scored on a Leah Cochran single, Byus scored on a wild pitch and King singled home Leah Cochran.
Point Pleasant was held scoreless in the fifth frame, but a one-out double by Hammond put the Lady Knights in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth. With two-outs in the sixth, King doubled home Hammond to cap off the 9-1 mercy rule victory.
Karissa Cochran was the winning pitcher of record, allowing just one earned run on six hits. The PPHS senior pitcher struck out seven and walked zero in six innings in the circle.
Lincoln County’s Bailey Pullen suffered the setback, allowing nine runs, six earned, on 15 hits. Pullen struck out four and walked none in 5.2 innings pitched.
Byus and Hammond led the PPHS offense, each recording one double, two singles, one run scored, one RBI, in three and four at-bats respectively. Higginbotham was 2-for-4 with one triple, one double, two runs scored and one RBI, King was 2-for-3 with one double, one single and three runs batted in, while Cottrill was 2-for-4 with one double, one single and one run scored.
Leah Cochran singled twice, scored twice and drove in one run, Kelsey Price added a single, while Grimm scored two runs as the courtesy runner.
Alyssa Adkins was 2-for-3 with two singles and two stolen bases to lead LCHS, while Pennington had one single, one run scored and two stolen bases. Barrett singled once, drove in one run and stole one base in the setback, while Kagan Frye and Randa Watts both singled once for the Lady Panthers.
Lincoln County committed two errors in the game, while Point Pleasant had one. The Lady Knights left nine runners on base in the win, while LCHS had six runners stranded.
These teams split the season series last spring, each team claiming victory at home. Lincoln County last won in Point Pleasant in the 2014 Region IV final, by a 13-1 count. The Lady Knights will look for the season sweep on April 6, in Hamlin.
Point Pleasant, which hosted Sissonville on Wednesday, returns to action on Thursday when Cabell Midland visits Mason County.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.