By Rob Potter
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS Aside from a brief 2-2 tie, the Cooper Paint softball team held the advantage on the scoreboard during its game Tuesday night.
Cooper Paint broke that tie in the top of the second inning when Charish Priest and Val Fersch scored on a single by Jen Wright to give the team a 4-2 lead.
Cooper Paint went on to record a 20-5 victory over The Nugget in a Sullivan County Women’s Softball League (SCWSL) game at Gary A. Bradley Memorial Field at the White Sulphur Springs Firemen’s Park.
With the win, Cooper Paint improved its record to 13-5. The Nugget fell to 10-9 on the season.
In the top of the third, Cooper Paint took a 5-2 lead.
With one out and two teammates on base, Pat Shuart hit a ground ball to shallow right field. The Nugget right fielder Cheryl Hughes rushed in, grabbed the ball and threw a strike to shortstop Marissa Ashcraft to force out Priest at second base. But Amanda Irwin scored on the play.
Following a scoreless fourth inning, Cooper Paint extended its advantage in the top of the fifth.
Erin Shuart ripped an RBI double to left field and Priest followed with a two-run single to center field to give Cooper Paint an 8-2 lead.
Later in the frame, Fersch smacked a two-run single and Wright earned an RBI when she grounded out to third base as Fersch crossed home plate.
The Nugget cut Cooper Paint’s lead to 11-4 in the bottom of the fifth, however.
With two outs, Roxanne Kehrley singled to left field. Patty Anderson then stepped into the batter’s box and promptly belted the ball into deep left field. As the Cooper Paint outfielders chased after the ball, Anderson sprinted around the bases for a two-run, inside-the-park home run.
Anderson was responsible for all four of The Nugget’s runs in the contest. In the bottom of the first, she blasted a triple to left field to bring Kehrley in to score. Anderson crossed the plate seconds later when the throw from the outfield to third base was errant.
Bases-loaded walks by Pat Shuart and Kate Mahan and an RBI single by Wright in the top of the sixth allowed Cooper Paint to push its lead to 14-4.
Cooper Paint scored six runs in the top of the seventh. Key hits in the frame included RBI doubles by Irwin, Priest and Wright.
In addition to her good night at the plate, Irwin was the winning pitcher.