Wayne softball beats Midland
WAYNE -- A win over Cabell Midland a year ago helped jump-start Wayne's softball squad on a run to the Class AA state championship.
The Pioneers are hoping history repeats itself.
Kasey Endicott homered and drove in three runs, while senior Tasha Maynard hit a solo shot as Wayne overcame six errors to knock off the Knights, 8-5, on senior night at Pioneer Field.
"It gives us a lot of confidence," Endicott said. "That's one of the best teams in AAA and it feels good to beat them."
It wasn't a particularly pretty game at times, especially early. Cabell Midland's first four runs scored as the direct result of Wayne errors. The Pioneers made five errors combined in the second and third innings against a Knights' team that likes to keep pressure on opponents.
"Toughest lineup to pitch to," Wayne head coach Tish Smith said of Cabell Midland. "They're an offensive machine. We knew we had to be at our best defensively and that's what we do the best."
After the third inning, Wayne (21-5) settled down as pitcher Jessie Rowe scattered four hits and one run over the final four innings.
Cabell Midland (24-5) threatened in the seventh. Jordan Colliflower singled to left and Morgan Kelley walked to bring the tying run to the plate. After a Savannah Eplin groundout moved two runners into scoring position, Erin Kaplan lifted a ball into right centerfield that seemed destined for the gap.
As centerfielder Emily Fry and rightfielder Savannah Perry converged, Fry was able to make a spectacular grab and avoid Perry, holding onto the ball as she hit the ground to end the game.
Wayne scored first when Fry scored on a wild pitch in the first for a 1-0 lead. Midland answered with two in the second off a pair of Pioneer errors to take a lead.
That's when Maynard, one of two Wayne senior starters, hit her second homerun in as many nights well beyond the left-field fence to tie the game.
"I was in a big slump and I just knew I had to shorten up and put the ball in play to win this game for the girls," Maynard said. "I'm glad I hit it against Cabell Midland because they're a AAA school."
The Knights added a pair of runs to take a 4-2 lead in the third, with both runners scoring on errors.
Wayne answered in the seesaw affair after a dropped flyball and a two-run single by Endicott.
CABELL MIDLAND 022 010 0 -- 5 8 2
WAYNE 113 210 x -- 8 7 6
Abbie Tolbert, Jenna Marsh (3) and Alyssa Koontz. Jessie Rowe and Emily Thompson. Hitting: (CM) Jenny Brumfield 2-4, 2B; Morgan Kelley 2B, Morgan Zerkle 2-4, Savannah Eplin RBI. (W) Kasey Endicott 2-3, HR, 3 RBI; Emily Thompson 2-3, 2 2B; Tasha Maynard HR, RBI; Emily Fry 2-3.