TENNERTON — Head Coach Levi Bender and the Buckhannon-Upshur High School Lady Buccaneer softball team (6-5) welcomed Big 10 Conference rivals, the Bridgeport Indians (2-5), to town last Wednesday, April 13. The Lady Bucs entered the game seeking to right the ship following a tough, 14-3 home loss, to Route 33 rivals, the Philip Barbour Phillies less than 48 hours earlier, back on Monday, April 11.
If there were any questions on how the Lady Bucs would respond following a loss, they were quickly answered in the game’s opening inning. After holding the Indians scoreless in the top of the first, the Lady Bucs drove in 8 runs, building an early cushion that would prove to be the difference in the game, as the B-U collected a massive 10-2 win over a bitter conference rival.
The Lady Buccaneers opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, when senior Shelby McDaniels singled on a line drive to centerfield on a crucial 3-2 count, to drive in fellow senior classmate Robin Ball for the game’s opening points. Sophomore Jansen Kimble, freshman Alyssa Abel, freshman Quinn Burnside and Ball kept the Lady Bucs hot hitting start rolling, each nailing base hits and using their instincts to safely navigate the base paths to score. The Indians committed a fielding error on a ball put in play by McDaniels, allowing senior Meghan Bailey to score the eighth and final run of the game’s opening inning.
Following that early offensive explosion, the game morphed into a defensive struggled, highlighted by the pitcher’s duel between Kimble and Bridgeport’s starting pitcher, Pethel. While the Bucs added 2 runs to their lead in the bottom of the third inning, it was Kimble who pitched a complete game. Her pitching featured 3 scoreless innings, 5 hits and only 2 runs allowed, while sitting down 6 Indian batters and walking zero; that was the true player of the game. Kimble’s tremendous control and velocity from the mound gave the Lady Bucs a definite advantage, aiding them in picking up the win. Pethtel took the loss for Bridgeport. The Indians’ starting pitcher surrendered ten runs on nine hits over the span of three innings, striking out four Lady Buccaneer batters while walking four. Numbers do not lie, it was clear that Kimble got the better of Pethel in their pitching duel.
As a team, the Lady Bucs recorded ten total hits against Bridgeport. Ball, McDaniels and Kimble led the way with multiple hits for Lady Buccaneers, each finishing with 2 hits apiece.