RACINE, Ohio — What goes around, comes around.
After dropping a 5-2 decision at Hartford just 24 hours earlier, the Southern softball team exacted a little revenge on Thursday after claiming a 6-5 victory over visiting Wahama in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division contest at Star Mill Park in Meigs County.
The Lady Tornadoes (5-5, 5-3 TVC Hocking) handed the Lady Falcons (9-7, 5-1) their first league loss of the year, but it took an explosive fourth inning in order for the hosts to salvage a season split.
WHS stormed out to a 3-0 advantage through two innings of play, but the Purple and Gold countered with two runs in the third before erupting for four runs in the home half of the fourth — which led to a permanent lead at 6-3.
The Red and White answered with two runs in the top of the fifth to close to within a run, but the Lady Falcons ultimately came up empty the rest of the way — despite some golden opportunities in their final two at-bats.
Wahama claimed a 1-0 lead in the first as Hannah Rose doubled, advanced to third on a wild pitch and later scored on a ground out off the bat of Hannah Billups.
The guests tacked on two more runs in the second as a Rose double with two outs allowed both Alexis Mick and Cynthia Hendrick to score for a 3-0 contest after two complete.
Southern hacked away at the deficit in the third as Lauren Lavender doubled home Jaiden Roberts for a 3-1 contest, then Lavender scored on a Paige VanMeter sacrifice fly to center — trimming the lead down to 3-2 through three full frames.
Then in the bottom of the fourth, Lavender singled in both Shelbi Dailey and Josie Cundiff for a permanent lead of 4-3. Sydney Cleland followed with a double that plated both Roberts and Lavender for a 6-3 advantage through four complete.
Emily VanMatre tripled in Ashtyn Russell with one out in the fifth for a 6-4 contest, then VanMatre came home to score on a ground out by Mick — allowing the guests to close to within a run at 6-5.
The Lady Falcons left the bases loaded in the sixth and stranded the tying run at third in the seventh.
Wahama outhit the hosts by a 13-9 overall margin, and Southern also committed the only two errors in the contest. The Lady Falcons stranded 10 runners on base, while SHS left only five on the bags.
Sydney Cleland was the winning pitcher of record after allowing three earned runs, 13 hits and two walks over seven innings while striking out two.
Cynthia Hendrick took the loss after surrendering six runs (five earned), seven hits and two walks over 3.2 frames while fanning three. Taylor McGrew also allowed two hits and fanned one in 2.1 innings of relief work.
Sydney Cleland led the hosts with three hits, followed by Roberts and Lavender with two hits apiece. Dailey and Cundiff also added a safety each for the victors.
Lavender drove in a team-high three RBIs and Cleland also knocked in two. Roberts and Lavender also scored two runs each in the victory.
Rose paced WHS with four hits and two RBIs, followed by Emily VanMatre with three hits. Russell and Maddy VanMatre each had two safeties, while Hendrick and Billups added a hit each.
Southern returns to action Monday when it travels to Miller for a TVC Hocking contest at 5 p.m.
Wahama was at Buffalo on both Friday and Saturday, then returns to TVC Hocking action on Monday when it hosts Belpre at 5 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.