AP NEWS

Midland gets 14-0 mercy-rule victory over Highlanders

March 24, 2019

HUNTINGTON — It took just three innings for Cabell Midland to dispatch Huntington High 14-0 Saturday in a mercy-rule softball game.

Knights pitcher Jess Terry hurled a one-hitter against her team’s rival and struck out seven of the 11 hitters she faced in picking up the win and improving Cabell Midland’s record to 5-1. All of the Knights’ games have been Mountain State Athletic Conference contests.

As impressive as Terry was, Cabell Midland’s offense had 12 hits and left just two runners on base.

Gracie Hightower, batting leadoff in place of injured Kirya Kingery, was 2 for 3 with two singles and two runs scored. Mikayla Ferguson had three singles in three at-bats, scored each time and batted in two. Jaelyn Lowe had two doubles and two RBIs.

“Our offense is hitting really well right now,” sophomore first baseman and cleanup hitter Rielly Lucas said. “We’ve been playing together for a while and we just click as a whole.”

Cabell Midland head coach Herman Beckett said he felt the Knights’ best offense is yet to come.

“We’re coming into our own,” Beckett said. “We still need to get some confidence that we can just come up and hit.”

Beckett said he was pleased with how aggressive his players are at the plate. Only three Knights failed to get a base hit.

Once runners were aboard, they were aggressive too in advancing and often challenging the arms of Huntington High’s young fielders.

Huntington High (0-4, 0-3) committed eight errors, some allowing the Knights to reach base, others were forced errors when Cabell Midland would send its runner to the next base and sometimes score when the Highlanders threw the ball away.

First-year Huntington coach Shawna Francis said her team, composed mostly of sophomores and freshman, is going through growing pains.

“Some things we’re still working out on defense, depending on who is pitching,” said Francis, a onetime Cabell Midland player. “Some people haven’t had much playing time so we’re still trying to get everyone some confidence.”

Francis said that strategy applies to her offense as well.

HHS starting pitcher Amilia Howard, one of two freshmen Francis has on her pitching staff, picked up Huntington High’s only hit, a two-out single in the first inning. Of the next seven hitters, just one put the ball in play.

Huntington High’s next game is at home versus Capital on Monday, while Cabell Midland will play Tuesday at Spring Valley. Cabell Midland has played seven games away from home. The Knights will have their first home game Thursday against George Washington.