WATERFORD, Ohio — For the first time in since 2011, the Lady Eagles won’t be crowned champion of the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division, but that didn’t stop them from finishing out their league slate in style.
In its 16th and final league game of the year, the Eastern softball team — which is second in the TVC Hocking standings — rolled to a 19-3 mercy rule victory over Waterford, on Friday night in Washington County.
Eastern (14-4, 13-3 TVC Hocking) scored five runs on the strength of six hits in the opening inning, but Waterford (14-6, 10-4) got one run back in the bottom of the frame.
The Lady Wildcats cut the EHS lead down to three runs, at 5-2, in the second inning, but WHS never came closer.
The Lady Eagles broke the game wide open with eight runs in the top of the third inning, which was highlighted by a Katlyn Barber home run.
The Lady Wildcats scored their final run of the game in the bottom of the third inning, cutting the EHS advantage to 10 runs, at 13-3.
Doubles by Taylynn Rockhold and Katlyn Barber, sandwiched around a home run by Sidney Cook, highlighted the fourth inning, in which EHS scored four runs.
EHS added two more runs in the final inning, capping off the 19-3 win.
Elaina Hensley was the winning pitcher of record for Eastern, pitching a complete game and allowing three runs, on seven hits, while striking out three batters. Smitley suffered the loss in the circle for Waterford.
Emmalea Durst led the victors at the plate, going 4-for-4 with three runs scored. Abbie Hawley was 4-for-5 in the win, Cook was 3-for-4 with a home run and three runs scored, while Hannah Bailey went 3-for-3 with three runs scored.
Katlyn Barber was 2-for-3 with a home run, a double and three runs scored for the Lady Eagles, Rockhold was 2-for-2 with two doubles and one run scored, while Cera Grueser was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Courtney Fitzgerald and Hannah Sharp both went 2-for-3 with a run scored, Kelsey Casto singled once and scored once, while Alexus Metheney added a single and Ally Barber scored a run.
Neater and Young both contributed two hits to the WHS cause.
Eastern left nine runners on base, while Waterford stranded four.
EHS also defeated the Lady Wildcats on April 10, by a 12-2 count in Tuppers Plains.
The Lady Eagles return to action on Tuesday, when Meigs visits Don Jackson Field.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.