CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — At least they scored.
The River Valley softball team managed only one hit and two total baserunners against top-seeded Wheelersburg, but the Lady Raiders did have something to show for their efforts at the end of Tuesday night following a 14-1 setback in five innings of a Division III district semifinal contest at Unioto High School in Ross County.
The fifth-seeded Lady Raiders (8-17) were over-matched by the Lady Pirates (20-2), who entered the postseason as the No. 2 ranked team in all of Division III by the Ohio softball coaches. WHS scored at least twice in all four innings at the plate of the wire-to-wire win, which included a seven-run outburst in the second frame.
RVHS, however, had its big breakthrough inning in the top of the second as Alexis Hurt led things off with a single, then advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw by the catcher. Cori Williams reached on an infield error with two outs, and an errant throw allowed Hurt to come around and score — making it a 2-1 contest after an inning and a half of play.
Wheelersburg followed by sending 13 batters to the plate in its half of the second, which resulted in seven runs on seven hits, two walks and two errors — turning a slim 2-1 edge into a comfortable 9-1 cushion through two complete.
WHS maintained its rhythm with two runs in the third and three more scores in the fourth, making it a 14-1 contest headed into the finale. Abbi Sparks fanned the side in order in the top of the fifth, allowing the Lady Pirates to advance to the district final at UHS.
Wheelersburg will face second-seeded Zane Trace at 3 p.m. Saturday in the D-3 championship. The Lady Pioneers defeated Meigs in the other semifinal by a 7-0 count Tuesday night.
The Lady Pirates outhit the guests by a sizable 15-1 overall margin and committed just one error in the contest, compared to three by the Lady Raiders. RVHS stranded one runner on base while Burg left four on the bags.
Sparks was the winning pitcher of record after allowing zero walks over five innings while striking out eight. Ashley Gilmore suffered the setback after surrendering four walks over four frames while fanning zero.
Ashley Cunningham and Taylor Dempsey led WHS with three hits apiece, followed by Kalleann Coleman, Raygan Reyes and Hailee Barbarits-Osborne with two safeties apiece.
Dempsey led the hosts with four RBIs while Reyes drove in three runs. Coleman and Barbarits-Osborne also knocked in two RBIs each.
It was the final game for seniors Jamie Norman, Libby Leach and Mai Kinebuchi in the Silver and Black.