RACINE, Ohio — Too many mistakes.
The Southern softball committed all four errors of the game Thursday night en route to an 8-2 setback to visiting Belpre in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division contest at Star Mill Park in Meigs County.
The host Lady Tornadoes (7-7, 7-5 TVC Hocking) were in trouble from the start as the Lady Golden Eagles (12-7, 9-3) plated six runs in the first inning and ultimately never looked back.
Madison Harman belted a two-run homer with one out in the first, then three hits, an error and a hit batter resulted in four more scores as the Orange and Black built a 6-0 lead after one complete.
SHS cut into the deficit in the bottom of the fourth as Cierra Whitesell scored during a double play, making it a 6-1 contest through four complete.
Belpre, however, answered by plating run in both the fifth and sixth frames while building its largest lead of the night at 8-1.
Makaylee Deaton singled home Hannah McDaniel with two outs in the fifth, then Katie Osburn scored on a two-out error in the sixth.
The Lady Tornadoes countered with a score in their half of the sixth as Sydney Cleland singled home Jaiden Roberts for an 8-2 deficit. SHS had the bases loaded with nobody out following a walk to Paige VanMeter after the Cleland RBI single, but the hosts came up empty in its next three at-bats.
Both teams went down in order in the seventh, allowing Belpre to secure the six-run triumph. The Lady Eagles — who have now won four straight — also claimed a season sweep after posting a 12-3 win at BHS back on April 3.
The guests outhit the Purple and Gold by a 9-7 overall margin and also benefited from four Southern errors. Belpre stranded six runners on base, while the hosts left five on the bags.
Harman was the winning pitcher of record after allowing one earned run and four hits over five innings while striking out seven. Osburn also allowed an earned run, three hits and a walk in two frames of relief while fanning four.
Sydney Cleland took the tough-luck loss after surrendering eight runs (two earned), nine hits and a walk over seven innings while fanning four.
Sydney Cleland led the hosts with three hits, followed by Roberts with two safeties. VanMeter and Josie Cundiff also had a hit apiece in the setback.
Deaton paced BHS with three hits and three RBIs. Osburn, Harman, Lauryn Simmons, Bri Elkins, Sydney Hall and Kaitlin Richards also had a hit apiece for the victors.
Southern hosts Federal Hocking in a TVC Hocking contest on Friday and returns to action Monday when it travels to Ravenswood for a non-conference matchup at 5 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.
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