Behind a solid pitching performance by sophomore Kaylin Murray, the Pocahontas County High School Lady Warriors defeated the Greenbrier West Lady Cavaliers, 6-3, on April 23 at Stillwell Park.
Murray threw with excellent control and speed in the showdown with the Lady Cavs. She struck out 10 batters – including two in the critical seventh inning. The sophomore has steadily improved her strength and control during the season and has become an ace on the mound for the Lady Warriors.
PCHS drew first blood against West in the first inning. Lindsey Hartzell and Bobbie McNabb hit successive singles and scored when Sarah Lambert hit a hard ground ball that was mishandled by West third baseman Faith Cooper.
Lady Cavs outfielder Nicole Fleshman led off with a single in the second inning and outfielder Abby Nickell followed up with another one-bagger. After the two singles, Murray got a
strikeout and a ground out. Fleshman scored on an infield grounder by West catcher Maddy Bridges, but Murray struck out Cavs left fielder Taylor Manspile to end the rally.
PCHS responded with two more runs in the bottom of the second to take a 4-2 lead. Makayla Marks and Tiffany Hoover got on base with walks to start the inning for the Lady Warriors. Natalie Hartzell drove in Hoover with a single, and scored on a single by Bobbie McNabb. With Murray in complete control on the mound, the Lady Warriors had all they needed.
West got one more run in the fifth on a Fleshman single and an RBI double by first baseman Emily Holliday. But PCHS added an insurance run in the bottom of the frame to take a 5-3 advantage, and one more in the sixth to close out the scoring for the Lady Warriors.
Murray struck out two batters and forced an infield fly ball in the top of the seventh to secure the win for PCHS.
McNabb singled twice and scored two runs. Lindsey Hartzell singled twice and scored. Natalie Hartzell singled twice and scored. Marks singled, walked and scored. Hoover walked and scored.
PCHS Head Coach Rick Hartzell was impressed with Murray’s performance.
“She had really good stuff today,” said the coach. “Good speed and good control. She was really focused and looked good today.”
The Lady Warriors improved their record to 6-4 with the win. PCHS had a game at Tucker County cancelled on Tuesday due to rain. The Lady Warriors have a doubleheader at Tygarts Valley scheduled for Wednesday, but rain is likely to create havoc with the softball schedule for much of this week.
The Lady Warriors are scheduled to play a home game against Moorefield on Thursday, but the forecast for that day is a 30 percent chance of showers.