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Comets fend off PH 13-7

The door was slow to open for the Halifax County High School varsity softball team in Tuesday night's Western Valley District game against Patrick Henry High School at Halifax County High School.

But, when opportunity knocked, the Comets took full advantage.

Sporting a 2-0 lead, the Comets exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to go up 10-0, then weathered a small storm before emerging with a 13-7 win that allowed the Comets to remain in a deadlock for first place with Franklin County High School in the district title chase.

The Comets' eight-run fourth inning was bolstered by a three-RBI double from Miyana Ross and a two-RBI double from Kye'Neisha Logan and a pair of Patrick Henry High School errors.

"It was a good pitch - right down the middle," Ross said of her three-run double, which extended a 4-0 lead to a seven-run cushion.

"The ball had no movement on it. That's why I took it to the fence. I'm glad I could pick my team up and score some runs. It's contagious. Once one person hits, everybody starts hitting. I'm glad I was able to start it for us."

Logan's two-RBI double, the first of her two hits in the game, extended the Comets' lead to nine runs.

"It was right there," Logan said.

"I was glad I could hit it and the two runs could score. It helped keep my momentum up. When you start hitting, you just want to keep hitting."

Comets Head Coach Melanie Saunders pointed to the timely hitting by her team as a difference-maker in the game.

"Against Franklin County, we just could not put the hits together," Saunders noted.

"Today was good. We were able to make advancements on the bases and score some runs early."

The Comets are facing a quick turnaround late in the week. On Friday, the Comets will travel to Roanoke and face both Patrick Henry High School and William Fleming High School in back-to-back district games.

"We've got to up our momentum a little bit," Saunders pointed out.

"The momentum and intensity are down a little, and we've got to figure out how to regroup ourselves as both individuals and a team. We've got to get that intensity level back up because it is going to make a difference."

Halifax County High School had 11 hits in the game, with Logan, Taylor Barnes, Cori Campbell and Ashley Watts each getting two hits. Ross, Meg Bane and Cecilie Elliott had one hit each.

Barnes, who had fanned 11 Franklin County High School batters in her last outing, had another big day on the mound against Patrick Henry High School. She threw four hitless innings, striking out seven batters and yielding two walks.

After relief pitcher Courtney Epps and a group of mostly reserves took the field for the Comets in the fifth inning, PH rallied for four runs in the fifth inning and scored three more runs in the sixth inning before Saunders brought Barnes back to the mound and inserted her starters back into the game to get the final out of the sixth inning. They retired the Patriots in order in the top of the seventh inning to cap the win.

The Comets committed five defensive errors in the game, but only one was attributed to the starters.

Patrick Henry High School had four hits in the contest, with Carson Arnold, Alexis Cox, Keirston Smith and Hannah Snider getting one hit each.