WELLSTON, Ohio — For the Lady Raiders, a good start on Thursday did not equate into an equally good ending.
That’s because the River Valley High School softball squad, beset by four errors and only amounting three hits, got doubled up by Wellston 6-3 in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division tilt at Nancy Kibler Field in Wellston.
The Lady Raiders recorded the game’s initial run in their opening at-bat, but the Golden Rockets rolled up two runs in the third inning — and four more in the fourth to lead 6-1 entering the fifth.
River Valley scored twice in the fifth to slice the deficit in half (6-3), but could not stage a comeback bid in a key conference clash.
The loss snapped the Lady Raiders’ three-game win streak, dropping them to 3-6 — and to an even 2-2 in the TVC-Ohio.
The Golden Rockets, following Wednesday’s 7-5 loss against league-leader Meigs, remained in second-place behind the Lady Marauders at 4-1.
Wellston is now 6-3, while Meigs sits atop the division at 4-0.
The Golden Rockets held a 7-3 advantage in hits, as both clubs committed four errors.
Molly Smith, who pitched the final five innings for Wellston, was the winning hurler —allowing two unearned runs in the fifth frame.
Smith surrendered all three Raider hits with two walks, but struck out eight.
Baylee Hollanbaugh, Cierra Roberts and Chole Gee garnered singles for River Valley, which stranded a pair of runners in both of the innings in which it scored.
In their opening at-bat, the Raiders registered an unearned run on the aid of two errors and no hits.
Hollanbaugh and Sydney Little both reached on errors, sandwiched around a Gee walk.
Hollanbaugh had the run, and scored the second Raider run to make it 6-2.
In that at-bat, she singled and advanced to second when Roberts reached on an error.
She then stole third, and scored on Wellston’s fourth and final error of the day.
With Roberts at third after Gee singled, Little’s RBI-groundout plated Roberts.
After a walk to Kasey Birchfield, Smith struck out Kaylee Tucker to end the inning, before retiring the side 1-2-3 in the sixth.
Smith then faced only four Raiders in the seventh.
Erica Scott led the Golden Rockets by going 3-for-4, while Jasmyn Wilson went 2-for-4 — and Smith and Brittany Downard delivered a single apiece.
The Raiders return home, and return to TVC-Ohio Division action, on Monday when they host Meigs.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106