RACINE, Ohio —It doesn’t get much closer than that.
The Southern softball team survived a late rally by Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division guest Trimble and took the 4-3 victory in the season opener.
The Lady Tornadoes (1-0) were held scoreless through the opening two frames but broke the 0-0 tie when Caitlyn Holter singled home Jordan Huddleston. Holter then scored on Ali Deem’s double to put the lead at 2-0. Cierra Turley singled home Deem to expanded the SHS lead to 3-0 at the end of the third inning.
In the bottom of the fifth inning Autumn Porter singled home Turley with two outs to give the Purple and Gold an insurance run and the 4-0 advantage.
The Lady Tomcats, which had reached base just twice in the opening five innings, got on the board in the sixth inning when Tia Savage, Hannah Warren and Allissa JayJohn each came around to score. The inning was highlighted by a two-out, two-run triple by Tia Altier.
After sending SHS away in order in the home half of the sixth THS had one shot left, down 4-3 headed into the finale. Abigail Faires singled with one out in the seventh, and she advanced to third base on Savage’s double. With one out and two runners in scoring position Trimble failed to score and the Lady Tornadoes held on for the 4-3 triumph.
Huddleston earned the win for the Lady Tornadoes after pitching a complete game in which she surrendered three runs on six hits and a walk. Huddleston struck out 14 in the triumph.
Nikki Kish was the losing pitcher and she gave up four runs on eight hits and a walk in six innings. Kish struck out four in the loss.
Southern was led by Huddleston with two hits, followed by Porter, Holter, Deem, Turley, Hannah Hill and Baylee Hupp with one hit each. Holter, Deem, Turley and Huddleston each scored in the game, while Holter, Deem, Turley and Porter each had an RBI.
Trimble was paced by Savage with two hits, followed by Warren, Faries, JayJohn and Altier with one each. Savage, Warren and JayJohn each scored, while Altier had two RBIs and JayJohn marked one.
These teams will meet again when the Lady Tornadoes visit Glouster on April 21.