By Shawn Stinson
The Pendleton County softball team dipped back below the .500 mark following a 2-5 week.
Tucker County swept a doubleheader from Pendleton on April 20 in Franklin. Hedgesville downed Pendleton 14-6 in the opening game of the Bub Riggleman tournament on April 22 in Moorefield. Pendleton bounced back later in the day to blank Greenbrier West 9-0. Pendleton used late-inning heroics to post a 12-11 victory against Tyler Consolidated on April 23 in the tournament. Moorefield cruised to a 10-4 win against Pendleton in the final contest of the tournament. Keyser slipped past Pendleton 8-5 on April 25 in Keyser.
The Lady Wildcats fell to 8-9 on the season with the five losses during the seven-day span.
Pendleton coach Charlie Padgett said his team came out flat following being swept by the Lady Mountain Lions. Tucker posted a 16-6 victory in six innings in the opening game and rolled to a 13-1 win in five innings in the nightcap.
Pendleton led 5-2 at the end of the third inning and held a 6-5 lead after four innings before Tucker scored 11 runs in the final two innings to claim the win in the opener.
Tucker continued to swing hot bats in the nightcap, jumping out to a 5-1 lead at the end of the first inning. The Lady Mountain Lions tacked on four runs in both the second and third innings to pull away with the victory.
“We played small ball to score our runs,” Padgett said. “We didn’t hit the ball very well.”
A six-run seventh inning allowed Hedgesville to roll to a 14-6 victory against Pendleton on April 22 in Moorefield.
The Lady Eagles led 3-2 at the end of the first inning and tacked on two more in the second. Hedgesville plated three runs in the third and Pendleton responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame to make the score 8-5. The Lady Wildcats scored a single run in the bottom of the sixth before the Lady Eagles exploded for six runs in the seventh.
Padgett said his team played small ball again and was unable to get a big hit to have a “big inning.”
Baylee Beachler hurled a complete-game shutout to pace Pendleton to a 9-0 win against Greenbrier West. Beachler recorded five strikeouts in the pitching circle.
“She pitched well.” Padgett said of his freshman pitcher.
Avery Townsend had three hits – two singles and a double – to pace the Lady Wildcats at the plate. Lizzie Alt and Ashton Hess both added doubles in the victory.
Townsend scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh, allowing Pendleton to claim a 12-11 walk-off victory against Tyler Consolidated on April 23 in Moorefield.
Townsend walked to start the game-winning rally. She promptly stole second and third and scored on a fielder’s choice ground ball off the bat of Jenna Smith.
Beachler added her cause with three hits at the plate, including a double. Kate Hedrick slugged a home run and finished 3 for 4 in the contest. Smith had two hits. Ally Vance notched a double and a triple.
Keira Gardner added a home run of her own in the 10-4 loss to Moorefield in the final game of the Bub Riggleman tournament.
The Lady Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 5-0 lead at the end of two innings. The Lady Wildcats sliced the deficit to 5-4 by scoring two runs in both the third and fourth innings. Moorefield pulled away by plating three runs in the fourth and single runs in the fifth and sixth.
Keyser scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and broke open a tie game to allow the home team to post an 8-5 victory against Pendleton on April 25 in Keyser.
The Lady Wildcats raced out to a 3-0 lead at the end of the first. The Lady Golden Tornadoes grabbed the lead with four runs in the third. Pendleton tied the game with a single run in the fourth. The teams were scoreless in the fifth before Keyser exploded for four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Pendleton scored a single run in the seventh.
“They were a very good team,” Padgett said. “But a loss is still a loss. We had a couple of misplayed balls on defense. They only had three earned runs.”
Pendleton was scheduled to play host to Petersburg on April 26 in Franklin. Pendleton will take on Moorefield today in Franklin. The regular season will close out with a doubleheader against Tygarts Valley Friday in Franklin. Padgett said the section tournament is scheduled to begin Monday with his team’s opponent being announced later this week.