With temperatures in the low 40s and a cold, stiff breeze blowing out to left field and later straight into home plate, Tuesday’s weather resembled more a late November football playoff game than a softball season opener.
The Logan High School softball team however, shook off the cold, got their licks in at home plate and held off the Winfield Lady Generals to come away with a 4-3 win in the opener at the Logan Softball Complex.
Down by one run in the top of the seventh inning, Winfield made it interesting as Kenna Markham had a two-out single to left off Logan pitcher Shana Hall. Katie Legg then singled past short and into left field to put two runners on.
Markham and Legg then both moved up after a wild pitch and represented the potential game-tying and go-ahead runs.
Hall then reached down and struck out Winfield’s cleanup hitter Brenna Ferguson to end the game.
It was a nice win for Logan over Winfield, a new Region 4 opponent.
“It was a good ballgame and it could be typical of this region,” Lady Cats’ coach Randy Robinette said. “Anybody can win it. We did a pretty good job for a first game. We made some mistakes early and got behind in the first inning on a couple of plays that we should have made but didn’t make. But you learn from your mistakes. We’re going to make some mistakes and we’re going to learn and come back and be a better ball club.”
Despite the bitter cold and wind chill the Lady Cats got good aluminum on the ball and hit it hard.
Third baseman Sam Curry hit the ball hard with a pair of doubles and went 2-for-3 at the plate. One of the doubles one-hopped the fence in left field.
Centerfielder and nine-hole batter Summer Collins also tattooed the ball twice with a double and single and was 2-for-3 as well. One of Collins’ hits bounced to the fence in right field almost on the fly.
The hardest hit of the night came off the bat of left fielder Aarron Ward, who drilled a pitch from Winfield’s Abbie Short in the bottom of the fourth inning and hit the top of the high fence in left field, nearly hitting the ball over for a home run.
“I was impressed with our hitting especially early in the game,” Robinette said. “We hit the ball hard and we did a good job getting the bunt down. The execution was pretty good for the most part. I’m real pleased with the win for the first time out. It’s always difficult when it’s your first time and the other team has already played four times. That means a whole lot.”
Rachelle Toppings, Logan’s leadoff hitter and first baseman, added a bunt single for the Lady Cats. Catcher Chastidy Wiley had an RBI double. Hannah Kolovich had a single as well.
Winfield took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning without the aid of hit and helped along by two Logan errors.
The Lady Cats tied it 1-1 in the bottom of the first as Toppings led off with a bunt single and scored on Curry’s RBI double to left. Curry then scored after Wiley’s double to left as Logan led 2-1.
In the second, Logan pushed the lead to 3-1 as Hall reached base safely on a Winfield error and scored after a double to the right field wall by Collins.
It was 4-1 in the fourth as Collins singled and came home on the deep double off the left field fence by Ward.
Winfield closed the gap to 4-3 in the top of the fifth with a pair of runs but that was as close as the Lady Gens would get.
Hall pitched all seven innings and notched the win for the Lady Cats. She allowed six hits and two walks while striking out five.
“Shana Hall did a real nice job pitching,” Robinette said. “She was efficient with her pitches. It’s not easy to pitch in the cold weather. She threw the ball hard for the most part. I was really impressed with her.”
Logan is set to open the season with four straight home games and were slated to host George Washington on Wednesday night. The Lady Cats then host South Charleston on Thursday and Shady Spring on Friday in a pair of 5:30 p.m. ballgames.
South Charleston and GW are Logan’s old Class AAA sectional foes. LHS is in a new section this season with St. Albans and Nitro.
The Logan Softball Complex is in the midst of a major renovation project. Two new spacious dugouts have been built as well as a new cinder block press box, replacing the old wooden one. The new bleachers have not yet been installed.
“Our new dugouts are beautiful,” Robinette said. “The press box is better and we have new bleachers coming in. It’s really nice. The dugouts are a whole lot bigger. We can move around and the kids are much more comfortable than the old, cramped dugouts that we used to have. We appreciated and thank those who are responsible for this.”
* The Chapmanville Regional High School softball team’s game at Poca on Tuesday night was cancelled due to water on the Lady Dots’ field.
Chapmanville (1-0), which won 18-0 at Mingo Central last week in the season opener, is scheduled to host Sissonville on Thursday in the home opener at 5:30 p.m., weather permitting.