By Shawn Stinson
Pendleton County softball coach Charlie Padgett believed his team was on the verge of hitting its stride.
He was right.
Pendleton scored 32 runs in sweeping Hampshire on April 1 in a doubleheader in Romney. The Lady Wildcats breezed to a 17-5 victory in five innings against the Lady Trojans in the opening contest. Pendleton continued its offensive onslaught in the nightcap, posting a 15-2 win in four innings.
“We hit the ball well,” Padgett said. “Everyone hit really well.”
Ally Vance secured the pitching victory in the first game. Vance hurled a complete game and allowed three earned runs. She struck out seven. Baylee Beachler earned the win in the second contest. Beachler recorded four strikeouts and allowed two earned runs in the complete game.
“Ally’s changeup was working,” Padgett added.
The Lady Wildcats jumped out to a 2-1 advantage at the end of the first inning in the first game. Pendleton plated five runs in the second to build the lead to 7-1 and tacked on two more runs before Hampshire battled back to trim the deficit to 7-5 at the end of the third. The Lady Wildcats scored twice in the fourth and added six in the fifth to secure the run-rule win.
Vance went 4 for 4 in the first game for Pendleton. Lizzie Alt and Avery Townsend both went 3 for 4. Keira Gardner recorded two hits and Ashton Hess slugged a solo home run. Kate Hedrick paced the Lady Wildcats with three hits, including a triple in the nightcap. Alt, Beachler and Townsend each had two hits in the second game.
“It was terribly cold,” Padgett said. “They did a good job hitting. We are getting better every time we play.”
Pendleton was scheduled to return to action April 5 against Tygarts Valley in Mill Creek before taking on Moorefield the following day in Moorefield. Pendleton will play its initial home game today against Tucker County in a doubleheader at the Town of Franklin Park.