PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — A late-inning outburst, on a late Saturday afternoon, only added to the Blue Angels’ early undefeated Ohio Valley Conference campaign.
That’s because the Gallia Academy High School softball squad, thanks to a five-run eruption in Saturday’s sixth inning, downed the host Portsmouth Lady Trojans 9-3 in an OVC tilt.
Gallia Academy only led 4-3 following the fifth inning —as the Lady Trojans trimmed a 4-1 deficit by scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth.
But the Blue Angels, with a five-run eight-hit explosion in the sixth off Portsmouth pitcher Andi Queen, opened up a 9-3 advantage for the final inning-and-a-half.
In those final two Trojan at-bats, they only earned a two-out walk in the sixth off Gallia Academy hurler Hunter Copley.
Copley retired the side 1-2-3 in the final frame, collecting her ninth and final strikeout to end the game.
With the win, which was the Blue Angels’ third consecutive, GAHS raised its record to 4-2 — and to 3-0 in the OVC.
After opening the OVC slate with home wins over South Point and Fairland, the Blue Angels’ road bout at Coal Grove on Friday was postponed.
That meant three days off for the Blue Angels, although they scored two runs in the opening inning off Queen —followed by single markers in the second and fourth stanzas.
In the first frame, Copley and Paxton Roberts registered leadoff singles, then Alex Barnes belted a one-out two-run double.
In the second, Gallia Academy opened up a 3-0 advantage — when Brooke Pasquale doubled to lead off and stole third, before scoring on a sacrifice bunt by Ryleigh Caldwell.
In the fourth, Caldwell bunted again —but this time reached base for a bunt single with one out.
She then stole second and third, and scored on a bunt single by Copley.
After Portsmouth posted two runs on an Erica Gullett two-RBI single for the 4-3 deficit, the Blue and White went off for the five-run eight-hit 10-batter effort in the sixth.
In fact, the first eight Blue Angels —Copley, Roberts, Jenna Meadows, Barnes, Bailey Meadows, Carly Shriver, Pasquale and Allie Young —opened the at-bat with singles.
Jenna Meadows made it 7-3 with a two-run basehit.
The Blue Angels amassed 17 hits off Queen, who went the distance for the Trojans and allowed nine earned runs with no walks.
She did strike out eight, and retired the sides 1-2-3 in the fifth and last.
Copley and Barnes bagged three hits apiece, as Barnes had three runs batted in and Copley a pair.
Roberts, Shriver, Pasquale and Meadows managed two hits apiece.
Copley’s complete-game gem featured nine strikeouts against only three walks, as Portsmouth pumped out three earned runs on eight hits.
She faced four Trojans apiece in innings one, three, four and six.
The Blue Angels returned home, and returned to OVC action, on Monday against Chesapeake.
Gallia Academy returns to the road, and steps out of league play, today (Tuesday, April 11) at Jackson.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106