Midland girls top Spring Valley
ONA -- With the score tied 1-1 in the Class AAA, Region IV, Section 4 softball tournament matchup Wednesday night, Cabell Midland coach Jeanne Lunsford had a pointed message for her team.
"Guys, you are keeping them in this game," Lunsford said in the middle of the fourth inning. "Start hitting the ball and let's put some runs on the board. Let's wake up."
It didn't take long for the Knights to respond.
Immediately following the talk, the Knights had five run-scoring extra base hits en route to an eight-run fourth inning that gave them a 9-1 victory over Spring Valley in five innings.
The win puts the Knights in the section championship, which is Thursday at about 7 p.m., following completion of an elimination game between Spring Valley and Huntington High that begins at 5 p.m.
"When they've hit the ball all year, you start to expect it from them," Lunsford said. "If I have to get on them a little bit, I don't mind to and they know that."
The biggest blow of the night was Mandi King's three-run triple that turned a one-run game into a 5-1 advantage after the ball rolled to the right-field corner.
Following a costly two-out drop in the outfield that scored another run, the Knights got three consecutive RBI doubles from Jenny Brumfield, Savannah Eplin and Erin Kaplan to push the lead to its final tally.
The inning started with an RBI double from Alyssa Koontz to score Eplin.
Pitcher Kyla Shull notched the final three outs to end the contest and pick up the win.
Despite the score, the contest was much closer than it appeared.
Spring Valley tied the game 1-1 following an RBI single by Elex Robertson. It came two batters after the Knights were a half-step from turning a triple play to get out of an inning when the Timberwolves had runners on first and second with no outs.
Despite the outcome, Spring Valley coach Allison Webb was pleased with the day's effort from her team, who defeated Huntington High, 10-1, in six innings to advance to the contest against the Knights.
"Through 10 innings, this is the best ball we played all year," Webb said. "I was proud of them. They finally saw the potential in themselves. We need to carry that into (Thursday)."
In the opener, the Timberwolves pounded out 10 hits to defeat Huntington High, who had defeated them in both regular-season meetings.
Cassie Adkins finished the game 2-for-3 with a three-run home run in the fourth and an RBI double while Alex Milum was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, including a two-run homer in the third.
Taylor Brumfield added a two-run single in the sixth inning to push the lead to its final margin before Adkins came in and shut the door in the bottom of the sixth to secure the win.
Madison Haymaker was 2-for-3 with two doubles for Huntington High.
SPRING VALLEY 000 10 -- 1 5 2
CABELL MIDLAND 100 8x -- 9 11 0
Phillips and Adkins. Shull and Koontz.
Hitting: (SV) Robertson RBI. (CM) King 3B, 3 RBIs; Brumfield 2B, 2 RBIs; Koontz, 2B, RBI; Eplin 2B, RBI; Kaplan 2B, RBI.
SPRING VALLEY 202 303 -- 10 10 0
HUNTINGTON HIGH 000 100 -- 1 5 1
Adkins and Robertson. Bias and Collins.
Hitting: (SV) Adkins 2-3, 2B, HR, 4 RBIs; Milum 2-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBIs; Jackson 2-4; Brumfield 2-4, 2 RBIs. (HH) Haymaker 2-3, 2 2B; Kinder 2B.