Big Reds roll, 9-1

BELMONT – Kelsey Goots delivered the goods on the mound, allowing only two hits and no earned runs as Parkersburg defeated St. Marys 9-1 Thursday evening.

The PHS bats were lively as well, as five Big Reds had multi-hit performances.

“(Goots) stayed ahead of just about everyone. She was bringing the heat today,” said Parkersburg head coach Ron Perdue.

“We hit the ball hard today,” he continued.

“Rylee (Boggess) hit the ball hard today; I was proud of her. Kacee Roberts hit it hard too. Even our outs were long outs or line drives.”

Admirable patience at the plate was the key for the Big Reds as they took control with four first-inning runs. Several PHS hitters had long at-bats, fouling off pitches from St. Marys starter Mykaela Handschumacher until they received the one they wanted.

A 10-pitch at-bat by Goots, which culminated in an RBI single through the shortstop hole for the game’s first run, was the outstanding example.

The Big Reds tallied six hits in the inning in achieving a 4-0 lead.

They tacked on another run in the second when catcher Katie Hudkins, who had reached on an error, was singled in by Roberts. First baseman Ariana Kennedy looked to have brought in another in the inning with a sacrifice fly, but on appeal Goots was ruled to have left third early.

For the Blue Devils, Addie Furr led off the game with an infield single, hustling down to first on a swinging bunt down the first-base line. But Goots retired the next 10 St. Marys hitters she faced.

She allowed her only run in the bottom of the fourth. St. Marys’ Jordan Fox, batting with one out, smacked a hard opposite-field single to right. The ball eluded the PHS right fielder, and the speedy Fox daringly legged it all the way to third. She scored one out later when Kennedy couldn’t pull a low throw out of the dirt after a grounder to short by catcher Rachel Payton.

Fox was the star of the game for St. Marys, adding to her run scored by playing irreproachable defense in center field; a position she had never before played.

“All the girls on the team know – rule No. 1 is, ‘don’t hurt Jordan,’ ” Blue Devils head coach John Mike Nichols joked afterwards.

“If St. Marys High had a chess club, Jordan would be the captain, and she would be ruthless.”

The real stars Thursday, though, were wearing red and white. PHS tacked on a quartet of unearned runs in the fifth, thanks to three St. Marys errors, and after Goots pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the frame, the game was called due to the eight-run mercy rule adopted by the SSAC for softball.

Roberts went 3-for-4 for the Big Reds with a triple, and a run and RBI apiece. Kelsey Fleming also tripled and knocked in two runs. Boggess, Goots, Alyssa Gates and second baseman Brooklyn Figley each had a pair of singles, with Boggess crossing the plate twice.

St. Marys returns to action today, playing host to Parkersburg Catholic, while the Big Reds make a long trip south today to take on Fayetteville and Beckley Woodrow Wilson on Saturday.

“Then we’ve got to get tuned up for the big rivalry game on Monday,” said Perdue, referring to their visit to Parkersburg South.