HURRICANE, W.Va. -- In showing its ability to roll with the punches Wednesday night, the Hurricane softball team showed that it can beat top opponents not just with good pitching and defense.
Want to get into a slugfest with the defending Mountain State Athletic Conference champions? Good luck with that.
The Class AAA No. 5 Redskins won their second game against a top-five opponent in as many days Wednesday, this time one-upping No. 2 Cabell Midland every time the Knights made an offensive push and eventually outlasting their guests 15-13 at Hurricane High.
"That was really stressful, but I knew if we just kept hitting the ball my defense would take care of it," Redskins sophomore pitcher Emily Davis said after picking up the win in relief of starter Courtney Rogers.
"I knew we had good offense to hit the ball. We just never stopped hitting," said Davis, who went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI at the plate.
It was a good thing for Hurricane (15-2) that it didn't let off the gas after the Redskins lineup posted Rogers to a 7-1 lead after four innings. Rogers, who threw a three-hit shutout in beating No. 4 St. Albans on Tuesday night, saw her velocity tail off just enough by the fifth that Midland bats caught up to her.
When they did, they did so in a big way. Midland No. 9 hitter Makayla Waugh began a five-run fifth win a triple, and the Knights (12-2) combined five consecutive singles with a pair of Hurricane errors to pull to within 7-6.
Hurricane answered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth before Midland came back with five more in the top of the sixth, an inning highlighted by a Savannah Eplin two-run double and three more Hurricane errors.
By the time the sixth ended, Midland had an 11-10 lead and Hurricane Coach Josh Caldwell had pulled Rogers, trading her spots with Davis, who started at third base.
"We made way too many mistakes there late. We kind of got tight, I thought, defensively," Caldwell said. "But what can you say. I mean, 15 runs against the No. 2-ranked team in the state. I'll take that."
Midland Coach Jeanne Lunsford had gone to her bullpen much earlier, pulling ace Kyla Shull in the third inning after Shull had thrown 66 pitches and struck out seven, but had lost much of her effectiveness after taking a line-drive off her glove hand, stoving her fingers.