Poor start dooms Blue Angels

By Paul Boggs - pboggs@civitasmedia.com

CENTENARY, Ohio — Unfortunately for the Blue Angels, they were their own worst enemy against the Coal Grove Hornets.

That’s because, in getting stung early and unable to rally late, host Gallia Academy lost an important Ohio Valley Conference softball tilt to Coal Grove by a score of 6-2.

The Blue Angels, uncharacteristically, committed three errors on the first four Hornet at-bats — allowing five opening-inning unearned runs.

Coal Grove combined — along with the Blue Angel errors — a walk, a hit batsman, a fielder’s choice and a pair of back-to-back RBI-singles by Ali Waller and Khylee Keaton.

In the fourth, the Hornets made it a five-run lead again at 6-1 — when Delaney Napier and Lauren Meyer led off with bunt singles, as Napier scored on Kasey Murphy’s sacrifice fly.

Gallia Academy only amounted single runs in the third and seventh innings, and left key runners stranded in scoring position twice.

With the loss, the Blue Angels are now 9-5, but fell to 7-3 in the OVC — as their conference championship chances took a serious hit.

Gallia Academy did travel to Coal Grove on Tuesday for a makeup matchup, and ventures to Chesapeake today (Wednesday, April 26) in another OVC clash.

The Hornets, on the other hand, are now 6-2 in the league — part of 12-6 overall.

In gaining the complete-game pitching victory, Murphy only allowed six hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

She faced four Angels apiece in the opening two innings, then retired the side 1-2-3 in the fourth thru sixth stanzas — part of 11 in a row.

Hunter Copley suffered the pitching loss for the Blue Angels, as she also went the distance in scattering seven hits — with only the fourth-inning counter being earned.

She struck out three and walked three, as Waller also singled in the third and fourth frames.

After nine batters went to the dish in the opening inning, Copley only faced four Hornets apiece in innings four thru six — before retiring the side 1-2-3 in the seventh.

The only other Hornet basehit was another bunt single by Meyer in the seventh.

For the Blue Angels, Alex Barnes drew a two-out walk in the third — before Jenna Meadows mashed a triple to cross her.

In the seventh, Ryleigh Caldwell singled to lead off, then Bailey Meadows mustered an RBI-single.

But Copley and Jenna Meadows in the first, and Barnes in the sixth, were the only other basehits off Murphy.

Murphy stranded Jenna Meadows at third in the third, before leaving Bailey Meadows there in the last.

Bailey Meadows, in the second inning, was the only other walk in which she issued.

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106

By Paul Boggs