The Jefferson softball team chose a good time to morph into a sharp defensive team Thursday against Hedgesville.
Jefferson had a tough time fielding some of the routine plays early in the game, but caught the ones that counted when the Eagles threatened as the Cougars held on for a 6-5 victory at Anderson Field.
Trailing 6-4, Hedgesville appeared primed for a late rally after its first three runners reached in the bottom of the sixth. Brittany Kolb reached on an error by Jefferson center fielder Anita Clark, moved to second on a single by Samantha Nazelrod and scored on a long single to left by Emily Cunningham to pull the Eagles to within one run with no outs.
A passed ball on a swinging third strike moved Sara Good, who courtesy ran for Nazelrod, to third and Cunningham to second with one out. After Lisa Sandford popped out to second base for the second out, Eagles cleanup hitter Taylor Munson came to the plate with a chance to take the lead. Munson smacked a hard grounder down the third-base line, but Jefferson third baseman Jessica Dibble gobbled it up and fired to first to get the Cougars - who had made three errors - out of the inning with a 6-5 lead.