By TOM BONE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
One out away.
Haleigh Compton came within one out of a perfect game on Saturday, finishing off a doubleheader appearance as pitcher for the PikeView Panthers softball team in a 10-0 win over neighboring Princeton.
The sophomore struck out seven of the first eight batters she faced, and wound up recording Ks against 13 of the 21 Tigers she saw at the plate. She threw 53 of her 73 pitches for strikes.
The bid for perfection ended with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, after PikeView — which batted first in the game — had already gotten its 10-0 lead.
Princeton substitute Savannah Cooper smacked a ball between first and second base, and ran hard down the baseline to produce a very close play at the first base bag. She was ruled safe.
After staying empty through the entire game, the bases eventually were loaded after an error and a fielder’s choice thrown to third behind the runner.
Compton then nailed her final strikeout.
“I would have loved to have a perfect game,” she said, “but I’m really happy with how everybody did, and how I did. I’ll just try to keep on improving, and I’ll have a chance maybe for another perfect game.”
Compton also pitched the first game of the day, an 8-2 win by visiting Ripley. The Class AAA Vikings from Jackson County then took a 10-0 win from Princeton, prior to the third game of the day between the Mercer County schools.
Against Ripley, PikeView got seven hits. Lena Hayworth batted 2 for 3 and Compton was 2 for 4 in that contest.
Compton’s coach and father, Steve Compton, said about the first game, “We started out really shaky (but) we hung in there and made a game of it.”
Discussing his daughter’s two starts, “It started to warm up and we decided to come back with her in the second game. She did a tremendous job.”
“This game, she was just on. She was hitting her spots, getting her pitches in the zone.”
Haleigh Compton said, “It was kind of rough, actually. I got kind of tired, but I’ve got an awesome team to back me up. They’re always encouraging me. ... Good or bad, they’re always rooting me on.”
PikeView used a walk and five singles to generate four runs in the second inning. Hannah Cook drove Hayworth in for the first score of the day, Haleigh Compton slapped an RBI single, and Samantha Meadows’ hit to left field brought two home.
In the third, Brooke Baker bopped a bad-hop single off the toe of Princeton’s third baseman, and came home on the Tigers’ second error of the contest.
Compton made it 6-0 in the fourth on Meadows’ RBI hit to shallow right field.
Four of the first five Panthers to bat in the sixth came home to wind up the scoring.
In addition to her pitching, Compton was 4 for 4 at bat.
“I’ve been practicing a lot — outside of practice,” she said.
Meadows said about her pitcher, “I’m very proud of her. She stayed very strong. ... She’s awesome.”
“She works very hard. She always pushes hard. I feel it’s contagious. We get the feeling, I need to work hard to help her out.”
Meadows put in some work, too. She had two singles sandwiched between two sacrifices, and accounted for four runs batted in.
When she sees runners on base, she said, “I feel their pressure. They’re wanting to get in. That’s my job as a batter. I try to do my job so they can do theirs.”
Steve Compton said, “Samantha is one of our top hitters. ... She’s one player who will do whatever you ask. She’s got the prettiest swing, and she sees the ball really well.
“She and Lena (Hayworth), we pretty much rely on them to put the bat on the ball.”
Hayworth scored twice and drove in a run in the Princeton game.
Princeton pitcher Molly Gravier pitched the complete game and did not allow an extra-base hit until Savannna Coalson’s double in the sixth. The Tigers had four errors.
Coach Lisa Perry-Shoda, running the team on Saturday for head coach Tressie Hamm, said that due to the weather, “This is only our third time on the field.”
“We didn’t play bad. The pitching kept us in the game. We’ve just got to work on the little errors in the infield — and we’ve got to talk to each other.
“We’ve just got to get time on the field to correct what needs to be corrected. I think we’ll get better. We have talent ... .”
Both teams were glad to be playing softball in the sunshine.
Steve Compton said, “It makes it seem like maybe it IS softball season.”
Haleigh Compton said, “We started out rough, but we’re starting to get it together.”
If snow and rain don’t get in the way, the Panthers are scheduled to travel to Greenbrier West on Monday and to River View on Tuesday. The Tigers’ schedule shows a home game on Tuesday with Summers County.
— Contact Tom Bone at
At PikeView High School
PikeView.......041 104 — 10 16 1
Princeton......000 000 — 0 1 4
Haleigh Compton and Savanna Coalson. Molly Gravier and Lindsay Ferguson. WP - Compton. LP - Gravier. HR - none.