‘Burg exacts revenge on Knights


Wheelersburg’s softball team exchanges high-fives during a game against Cabell Midland in the Tri-State Softball Showcase on Saturday in Ashland.

Courtesy of Shauntelle Thompson

ASHLAND, Ky. — Kaylynn Carter crossed the line.

The yellow line in the center of the road beyond the left-field fence of Ashland High School’s softball field, that is.

The Wheelersburg junior smashed a solo home run there on Saturday afternoon, helping the Pirates (4-1) defeat Cabell Midland (12-1) in the Tri-State Showcase.

Carter went 2-for-4 with three runs batted in and was the winning pitcher in the showdown of area powers.

The two-time defending Ohio Division III state champion avenged its only loss of the season — a 5-3 setback to the defending West Virginia Class AAA runner-up Knights.

“We’re about as even as you can get,” Cabell Midland coach Herman Beckett said of his team and the Pirates. “We had a couple of running miscues, but that’s going to happen when you’re an aggressive team, which we are. We’re going to run and say, ‘you stop us.’ They’re as good as anyone we’re going to play this year, without a doubt, and we’re probably as good as anyone they’re going to play.”

Wheelersburg (4-1) stopped the Knights on the bases in key situations twice.

Becca Conrad was thrown out at the plate after Olivia Bell’s single in the fifth inning scored two runs.

In the seventh, Ellie McCormill reached first on a blooper down the right-field line, but was erased trying to stretch it to second on an overthrow.

Carter’s homer in the second made it 1-0.

The Pirates added an unearned run in the third — when AndiJo Howard singled in Haley Myers, who had reached on a throwing error by Quinn Ballengee.

The Knights made it 3-1 with an unearned run of their own in the fourth.

Bell reached when centerfielder Ava Estep dropped a fly ball on the warning track.

Two batters later, Baylee Smith singled Bell home.

Estep made up for her flub when she led off the fifth with a home run.

Later in the inning, Carter singled in Catie Boggs and Sydney Skiver to make it 5-1.

“There are things we’re happy with and things we need to work on,” Pirates coach Teresa Ruby said. “Overall, it was a well-played game.”

Ruby said she enjoys playing Cabell Midland.

Few teams in the Tri-State can offer such a challenge.

“The better the competition, the better it makes us,” Ruby said. “He (Beckett) has a fine ballclub there.”

Ruby bragged on Carter and second baseman Emma Smith.

“I thought Kaylynn pitched a heck of game,” Ruby said. “Seven innings against the quality of batters they have is impressive. She hit her spots well and mixed up her speeds. I’m really proud of the game she pitched today. It was a difference maker. Emma made some plays for us too.”

Wheelersburg’s Kaylynn Carter pitches to Cabell Midland in the Tri-State Softball Showcase on Saturday in Ashland.

Courtesy of Shauntelle Thompson

Carter allowed six hits, struck out five and walked one.

Haley Myers and Howard each went 2-for-4, while Smith went 2-for-3 for Cabell Midland.

* * *

Wheelersburg 011 030 0 —5 9 1

Cabell Midland 000 120 0 —3 5 1

W —Kaylynn Carter; L —Watts

Wheelersburg hitting: Ava Estep HR, Haley Myers 2-4, AndiJo Howard 2-4, Kaylynn Carter 2-4 HR 3RBIs

Cabell-Midland hitting: Olivia Bell 2RBIs, Baylee Smith 2-3

* * *

Tim Stephens is a sports reporter for The Huntington Herald-Dispatch, as this story was used with permission

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