Balanced act earns Wayne softball a 6-4 victory

April 14, 2019

WAYNE — The Wayne Pioneers softball team used balanced offense and defense to hold off the Chapmanville Tigers, 6-4, Friday evening. Wayne evened the season series at one victory each.

The Pioneers (12-7) were led by Whitney Sansom, who threw a complete game in the circle, striking out nine batters and also logging three hits in four at-bats. Olivia Maynard was also a key contributor with a pair of doubles and three RBIs.

A scoreless game through two innings was dominated for the most part by pitching from both sides. Sansom and Chapmanville pitcher Tabitha Adkins each struck out three and got some help from their defenses to keep the basepaths empty, save for four runners, three of whom were on for the Pioneers in the first inning.

Wayne broke open the scoring in the bottom of the third inning as both Maynard and Raegan Roach hit RBI doubles to give Wayne a 3-0 lead.

Sansom doubled her strikeout total in the third and fourth innings as Chapmanville left three runners stranded and had another picked off on an attempted steal of third base.

There have been many moments this year where the Pioneers made big plays on offense and defense, but the efforts came at different times. Wayne coach Jessie Rowe said the win against Chapmanville showed what her team is capable of when it puts it together.

“The girls really had each other’s backs out there today,” Rowe said. “When we made mistakes on the field, they came back from those on offense and defense. We capitalized when we needed to and at times this year it’s been one or the other, but today we pulled together and capitalized on both as a team and got the win.”

The Tigers ended Wayne’s shutout bid in the top of the sixth inning, scoring two runs to pull within one.

Sansom’s first walk of the game put the lead-off batter on and a Jenna Barker single put runners on the corners with nobody out and the tying run at the plate. A single from the K.K. Davis drove in both runners before Wayne got out of the inning with a strikeout looking and a pop-up.

Wayne’s offense used that momentum to add three runs in the bottom of the sixth frame, pushing the lead to a game-high four runs.

Bailey Queen led off the sixth with a triple and was brought home by Reagan Booton in the next at-bat. The following three Wayne batters all reached safely on singles. Along with Booton, Maynard and Emilie Osborne had an RBI each in the inning, giving Wayne a 6-2 lead going to the seventh inning.

Chapmanville’s Sidnee Varnee began the top the top of the seventh with a double and advanced to third base on a Wayne fielding error, putting the Tigers in favorable position. A double off the bat of Shea Pridemore scored Varnee, and Kaitlin Moore singled to score Pridemore, bringing the Tigers within two.

Wayne doubled down defensively and escaped with the win. Sansom sealed it with her ninth strikeout.

“She showed a lot of grit,” Rowe said. “She got behind in the count a few times but battled back and had a strong performance.”