Blustery, cold conditions greeted the members of the Bluefield and PikeView softball teams Wednesday afternoon at the BHS field in a match-up of Mercer County rivals that saw the Lady Panthers of PikeView score in every inning and claim a 15-8 win over the Lady Beavers.
“We did a whole lot more things right than we did in our first game. We’re really young,” PikeView coach Steve Compton said. “Our pitcher, I can’t say enough about her because she battled the cold.
“I’m telling you, her hand had to be cold. About the last three innings it had to be hard holding that ball and she just hung in there and just kept throwing it. I can’t say enough about her. She did a great job.”
PikeView struck for three runs in the opening inning off Bluefield starting pitcher Caitlyn Lucado. A single by Lyndsay Hatfield, triple by Sam Meadows, another single by Savannah Coalson and a two-RBI ground out by Lena Hayworth gave PikeView the early 3-0 advantage.
Bluefield, however, was not content to sit idly by as the Lady Beavers came out swinging against Lady Panthers starting pitcher Kristin Worrell.
Allison Shaw led off the Bluefield first with a single to right and stole second. Two PikeView errors and an RBI single by Lakeyn Morris plated two Beavers’ runs in the inning.
PikeView added two more in the second on three hits before Worrell sat Bluefield down in order in the second.
The Lady Panthers added another pair of runs in the third and Bluefield responded with a single run in its half of the third to make it 7-3.
PikeView’s lead grew to 9-3 in the fourth, the big hit a run-scoring double by Hayworth.
Bluefield loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth, but failed to cross the plate as one run was forced at home and another at third before Worrell picked up a K to end the inning.
In the fifth the Panthers again added two runs to its total, with singles by Haleigh Compton and Coalson and a two-run sacrifice bunt by Hayworth that made it 11-4.
In the fifth the Beavers again loaded the bases with no outs, but managed to get a run home, Kaitlyn Thompson coming across after being hit by a pitch, eventually scoring on a ground-out by Alexius Burress.
PikeView again tacked a deuce on the board in the sixth to increase its lead to 13-4.
Bluefield had its most run productive inning in the sixth as they scored four times on a combination of walks and fielder’s choices as the bitter cold seemed to affect both teams. When the dust settled and the chill set further in, the Lady Beavers touched home four times in the inning and the score stood at 13-8 headed into the last inning.
In the seventh PikeView yet again touched home plate two times thanks in part to four Bluefield errors in the inning. Bluefield went down in order in the bottom of the seventh and the teams scrambled for the warmth of the bus and cars.
Worrell earned the pitching win for PikeView who evened its record at 1-1. Lucado was tagged with the loss for Bluefield in its season opener.
Hatfield, Higgins and Hayworth had three hits each for PikeView, while Coalson and Compton had two hits apiece.
“We communicated a whole lot better, moved a whole lot better, they understood what we were doing,” Compton said. “They understood what we were doing, there was no confusion, really, out there. They actually put the bat on the ball. In situations where we needed them to bunt, they bunted. It was just an all-around great job compared to our last game.”
Shaw had two hits for Bluefield.
“It was our first game, we were anxious to get on the field,” said Bluefield coach James Baylor. “I thought the girls played good defense. We had opportunities there with the bases loaded several times with nobody out and we weren’t able to push it across. (We had) soft fundamentals there right at the end, but we’ll have an opportunity to work on that.
“Overall, if I were grading it I would give them a C. If we can just get more time out here to practice, the weather has been bad for everybody, so I think over time and if we can continue to do the fundamental things right, I think the hitting is going to come for us.”
PikeView (1-1) plays today, weather permitting, at home against Greenbrier West. Bluefield (0-1) is scheduled to play at Princeton today.
At Bluefield High School
PikeView (1-1)…......…...322 222 2 — 15 18 5
Bluefield (0-1).........…….201 014 0 — 8 6 6
Worrell and Coalson. Lucado and Morris. W-Worrell, L-Morris.