BIDWELL, Ohio — What goes around, comes around.
The River Valley softball team endured a reversal of fortunes the second time around as visiting Athens rallied with three runs in the top of the sixth to claim a 5-3 decision on Wednesday night in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division contest in Gallia County.
The Lady Raiders (10-9, 5-5 TVC Ohio) trailed 1-0 after an inning of play, but the hosts responded with three scores in the bottom of the fourth while securing a two-run advantage.
The Lady Bulldogs (7-10, 4-6) cut the deficit in half with a run in the fifth, then made the most of two hits, two errors and a hit batter while producing three runs in the sixth — allowing the Green and Gold to secure what proved to be the final margin of victory.
AHS also salvaged a season split after dropping a 4-3 decision in The Plains back on April 5. Skylar Jones hit a two-run homer in the top of the seventh of that outing, allowing the Silver and Black to sneak away with the decision.
Olivia Tegnolia doubled home Kailyn Sharp with two away in the top of the first for a quick 1-0 Athens advantage, then both teams went scoreless until the midway point of the fourth.
Jones and Grace Hash provided back-to-back singles to start the inning, then Kasey Birchfield reached on an error that loaded the bases with nobody out.
Kaylee Tucker followed with a one-out single to center that plated both Jones and Hash for a 2-1 advantage. After avoiding a tag, Sierra Somerville produced an infield single that allowed Birchfield to cross home plate for a 3-1 cushion.
Tenoglia drove in Ami Brannan with a sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth for a 3-2 affair, then Athens made its big surge in the next frame.
Olivia Kaiser was hit by a pitch to start the sixth, then Anna Chen singled and Eliana Toppercer reached on an error that allowed both Kaiser and Chen to score for a 4-3 lead. Toppercer later came home on a two-out single by Sharp for a two-run edge.
RVHS managed a single in each of their last two innings at the plate and also had a runner on third with two away in the seventh, but the hosts ultimately popped out to center to wrap up the outcome.
The Lady Raiders outhit the guests by a 10-7 overall margin and both teams committed three errors apiece. River Valley stranded eight runners on base, while Athens left seven on the bags.
Kaylee Stewart was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two earned runs and 10 hits over seven innings while striking out two. Somerville took the loss after surrendering one earned run, seven hits and two walks over seven frames while fanning nine.
Tucker led RVHS with three hits and two RBIs, followed by Hash and Jones with two safeties apiece. Birchfield, Somerville and Chloe Gee also had a hit each in the setback.
Kaiser and Chen paced AHS with two hits, with Brannan, Sharp and Tenoglia also providing a safety apiece. Tenoglia and Toppercer also drove in two RBIs apiece for Athens, which picked up its third straight victory.
River Valley was at Southeastern on Thursday and returns to action Monday when it travels to Albany for a TVC Ohio contest against Alexander at 5 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.