ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — By holding off the visiting Vikings time and again on Thursday, the Meigs High School softball squad held on to its outright league lead.
That’s because the Lady Marauders, in scoring one run in the opening inning and two more in the third, made their early advantage stand up — as they vanquished Vinton County 3-1 in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division tilt at Meigs High School’s Dreams Field.
Though the Lady Vikings threatened the Marauders with two runners in scoring position in the first and sixth stanzas, and single runners aboard after walks in the third and seventh, all Vinton County could generate was a Kelsey Ward run on a Josie Hembree RBI-double in the first.
In fact, Ward singled off Alliyah Pullins in that first frame, as the Vikings did not record a hit in their final six at-bats.
Pullins pitched the first three innings and Maddison Woodyard worked the final four for Meigs, as Pullins walked two and Woodyard walked three —but the Marauders kept the Vikings off the scoreboard as Woodyard struck out five.
Meigs mustered eight hits, and improved to a perfect 4-0 in the TVC-Ohio, part of 7-1 overall.
Vinton County, conversely, dipped to 5-6 — and to 2-3 in the league.
The Vikings led 1-0, as Brookesanne Barnett drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on Hembree’s double.
But Pullins forced a groundout to second baseman Hannah Tackett to end the inning —the first of five consecutive Vikings retired, and seven of eight in that stretch.
The only Viking to reach base in that span was Ward with a walk.
Woodyard retired the Vikings 1-2-3 in the fourth and fifth innings, then walked Ward and Brianna Hunt in the sixth —with Hunt at second and Ward at third.
However, once again, Vinton County grounded to Tackett to end the threat, as Tackett recorded the game’s final out after Averi Peoples led off with a walk.
Shalyn Reffit pitched the complete game for the Lady Vikings, allowing three earned runs and two walks with eight hits and four strikeouts.
Devyn Oliver amassed three singles and two runs scored for Meigs, as Pullins popped a double to drive in Oliver — and tie the game at 1-1 after one.
In the third, the Marauders posted their other two markers —when Oliver and Taylor Swartz singled, and Peyton Rowe roped an RBI-double to cross Oliver.
Swartz scored later on to make it 3-1.
From there, though, the only other Marauder baserunners were singles by Woodyard and Oliver in the fourth, a walk to Ciera Older in the fourth, and a single by Rowe in the fifth.
Reffitt retired the side 1-2-3 in the final two innings, and saw the minimum Meigs three in the second.
The Lady Marauders, which traveled to Ripley on Friday for a non-league doubleheader, return to TVC-Ohio action on Monday at River Valley.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106