Southern doubles up Lady Tomcats, 6-3

By Bryan Walters -

GLOUSTER, Ohio — Back to their winning ways.

The Southern softball team snapped a two-game losing skid in dramatic fashion Monday night while claiming a 6-3 victory over host Trimble in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup in Athens County.

The Lady Tornadoes (3-4, 3-2 TVC Hocking) trailed 2-0 through four innings of play, but the guests found their offensive rhythm in a big way during the top of the fifth after sending nine batters to the plate en route to a 4-2 advantage.

The Lady Tomcats (0-5, 0-3) countered with a run in the home half of the sixth to close to within 4-3, but a two-run blast by Paige VanMeter in top of the seventh ultimately wrapped up the 6-3 triumph.

Trimble opened the game with a one-out single from Emily Ward, who then advanced to second on an error that allowed Taya Lackey to reach safely.

Alyssa Turley then reached safely on an error that allowed Ward to score for a 1-0 advantage. Kym Williams became the third consecutive THS batter to reach on an error as Lackey came home for the early 2-0 lead.

The Purple and Gold — who mustered only two hits and three baserunners through four frames — snapped out of their offensive funk in the fifth as the guests produced three hits to go along with three THS errors and a walk.

Sierra Cleland started the inning with a single and eventually scored on an error that allowed Shelbi Dailey to reach safely while cutting the deficit in half at 2-1.

Dailey advanced to second on a Kati Barton walk, then Dailey scored as Haley Musser reached safely on a fielder’s choice.

Jaiden Roberts delivered a single to right field that load the bases, then Lauren Lavender singled to left as Barton scored for a permanent lead at 3-2. On the play, however, Musser was cut down at third base for the first out of the frame.

Sydney Cleland reached safely on a a fielder’s choice, then advanced to second on the final error of the inning as Roberts scored for a 4-2 contest midway through five.

Kaitlin Spears received a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the sixth as Dixon scored for a 4-3 margin through six full frames, but VanMeter’s centerfield shot in the seventh delivered the knockout.

SHS outhit the hosts by a 10-6 overall margin and committed three of the nine errors in the game. Both teams also stranded eight runners apiece on base.

Sydney Cleland was the winning pitcher of record after allowing one earned run, six hits and two walks over seven innings while striking out two. Lunsford took the setback after surrendering four earned runs, 10 hits and two walks over seven frames while fanning four.

Sierra Cleland led SHS with three hits, followed by Dailey and VanMeter with two apiece. Roberts, Lavender and Sydney Cleland with a safety each. VanMeter also accounted for half of Southern’s four RBIs.

Ward paced Trimble with two hits, while Williams, Dixon, Moore and Brown had a safety apiece in the setback. Williams also accounted for two of the Lady Tomcats’ three RBIs.

Southern returns to action Tuesday when it travels to Mercerville for a TVC Hocking contest against South Gallia at 5 p.m.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

By Bryan Walters