MOOREFIELD, W.Va. — A day after striking out eighteen times in a 2-1 loss at Clay-Battelle, Moorefield collected 14 hits in a 10-2, six-inning win over the Cee-Bees. The Class A Region 2 best-of-three series returns to Blacksville for the decisive game Friday afternoon.
The Yellow Jackets (21-10) used a mix of ‘small ball’ and power to jump out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Remi Hinkle’s grand slam was set up by a pair of bunt singles. Moorefield recorded five bunt singles, three successful sacrifices and forced a pair of Cee-Bee throwing errors on bunt plays.
“We usually bunt fairly well,” said Moorefield head coach Tammie Ayers. “I’ve got a couple that don’t like to bunt but they can when it is crunch time.”
“Moorefield had a very good game plan,” said Clay-Battelle head coach Butch Varner. “They had very good execution. When the stakes are that high, sometimes the nerves get the better of you.”
Clay-Battelle scored their only two runs in the second inning. Joleigh Sollars delivered an RBI single and Alivia Ammons followed that up with a run-scoring groundout, cutting the deficit to 4-2.
But the Yellow Jackets scored two runs in the third, one in the fourth and three in the sixth to put the run-rule in effect. The top seven batters in the MHS lineup each recorded at least one hit. Leadoff batter Rebekah Markwood had three hits while Hanna Carlson added three RBI.
“Yesterday, we had a lot of nerves,” said Ayers. “We were anxious. The difference in the 24 hours was just that we were able to put the bat on the ball and settled our nerves.”
Lauren Arbaugh went the distance in the pitching circle for the Yellow Jackets. She allowed just four hits while striking out four batters. “She calmed herself down very well (after the second inning),” Ayers said. “She is young. She is only a sophomore. She has five pitches and I thought she was spot on.”
A day after tossing a gem in game one of the series, Clay-Battelle’s Caitlyn Kassay took the loss as the Cee-Bees fell to 24-2. “There’s a reason she is a three-time first team all-state pitcher,” Varner said. “She will be coming tomorrow to battle.”
Varner’s message to his team following the game was a simple one. “There is one game left and it is in Blacksville. It is not in Moorefield. We need to put this one behind us.”