Lady Eagles hold off Southern, 4-3

By Alex Hawley -

RACINE, Ohio — The Lady Tornadoes had their chances, but in the end, the Lady Eagles survived and are still unbeaten.

The Eastern softball team defeated host Southern 4-3, in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division showdown, on Saturday afternoon in Star Mill Park.

Eastern (3-0, 3-0 TVC Hocking) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, when Ally Barber scored on a sacrifice-fly by Katlyn Barber.

Southern (2-4, 2-2) claimed a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the opening inning, as Jaiden Roberts was singled home by Paige VanMeter, who then scored on a Sydney Cleland single.

After a scoreless second frame for both sides, the Lady Eagles found some two-out magic in the third inning. With two away in the frame, Cera Grueser doubled home both Katlyn Barber and Taylynn Rockhold, and then Mollie Maxon doubled home Grueser, giving the guests a 4-2 lead.

After stranding a runner on third base in the third inning, Southern got one run back in the bottom of the fourth, when Katie Barton singled home Ciera Whitesell.

The Lady Tornadoes left a runner on base in both the fourth and the fifth innings, but Eastern held SHS without a base runner for the final two innings, as EHS claimed the 4-3 win.

Elaina Hensley was the winning pitcher of record for EHS, striking out two and walking one, while allowing three earned runs on eight hits in a complete game.

Suffering the loss for SHS and pitching a complete game was Sydney Cleland, who struck out two, walked two and hit one batter, while allowing four earned runs and nine hits.

Sidney Cook led the EHS offense, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two stolen bases. Maxon was 2-for-3 with a double and a run batted in for the victors, while Grueser and Rockhold both doubled once and scored once, with Grueser marking two runs batted in and one stolen base.

Ally Barber singled once, scored once and stole one base for the Lady Eagles, Courtney Fitzgerald added a single, while Katlyn Barber scored once and drove in one run.

Josie Cundiff led the SHS offense, going 2-for-3 with a double and a stolen base. Sydney Cleland was 2-for-3 with an RBI, VanMeter singled once, scored once, drove in one run and stole two bases, while Katie Barton singled once and drove in one run.

Roberts singled once and scored once for SHS, Shelbi Daily added a single, while Whitesell scored once.

Southern committed the game’s lone error. Eastern left eight runners on base in the win, while Southern stranded four.

These teams are scheduled to meet again on April 26, in Tuppers Plains.

Eastern is scheduled to host Waterford on Monday and then visits Belpre on Tuesday. Southern will visit Trimble on Monday and South Gallia on Tuesday.

Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.

By Alex Hawley