CENTENARY, Ohio — It was a close encounter on the diamond between two county rivals.
The River Valley softball team held a 5-4 lead entering the bottom of the sixth inning in Saturday afternoon’s non-conference contest, but the host Blue Angels rallied for three runs to earn a 7-6 victory at the Eastman Athletic Complex in Gallia County.
The Lady Raiders (3-4) charged to a 1-0 advantage in the first frame, when Baylee Hollanbaugh led of with a double later scored on a two-out error off of the bat of Skylar Jones.
The Silver and Black tacked on three additional runs in the top of the second, as Kasey Birchfield, Sierra Somerville and Kaylee Tucker each scored in the inning to extend the lead to 4-0.
Gallia Academy (8-1) cut the deficit to 4-1 in the bottom of the second, by way of a solo home run off of the bat of Rylee Sipple.
The Blue and White knotted the contest at 4-all in the third, as Alex Barnes, Hunter Copley and Chasity Adams provided runs by way of two hits, a hit by pitch and an error.
River Valley regained the lead in the top of the sixth, as an error by GAHS allowed Birchfield to reach with no outs. Birchfield scored two hitter later, when Tucker provided a one-out RBI single to put RVHS ahead at 5-4.
The Blue Angels countered in the bottom of the sixth, as Malerie Stanley reached on an error and Allie Young followed with a walk. Aubrey Unroe was next and loaded the bases with a hit.
Alex Barnes provided the go-ahead hit with one-out, as she singled to drive in all three base runners and stake Gallia Academy to a 7-5 advantage entering the finale.
The Lady Raiders threatened in the top of the seventh, as Jones led of with a single and scored when Isabella Mershon followed with a single to cut the deficit to 7-6.
Gallia Academy however retired Mershon in an attempt to advance to second and closed out the inning with no further runs to earn the one-run victory.
Copley recorded the pitching win for the hosts, as she allowed six runs on eight hits, with three walks and one strikeout. Copley also recorded one hit, one RBI, and scored a run in the contest.
Barnes led the Blue Angels at the plate, as she collected two safeties, three RBI, and scored once.
Unroe and Sipple concluded the hit totals for the home team with one apiece, respectively.
Airika Barr suffered the loss for RVHS, as she surrendered seven runs, five hits, with two walks while striking out two hitters in six innings of work.
Hollanbaugh, Tucker and Jones led the way for the visitors, as each provided two hits, one RBI and one run scored.
Barr and Mershon rounded out the hit totals for the Lady Raiders, as each finished with one safety apiece. Birchfield and Somerville concluded the offensive totals for RVHS with two runs scored and one run scored, respectively.
Both clubs committed three fielding errors in the contest, while River Valley stranded seven base runners to four left on base by the Blue Angels.
Scott Jones can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext 2106.