IRONTON, Ohio — The Blue Angels introduced themselves to the Ohio Valley Conference quite nice.
That’s because the Gallia Academy High School softball squad, playing in their OVC opener on Friday, blanked the host Ironton Fighting Tigers 11-0.
With the win, the Blue Angels improved to an undefeated 3-0, having also won over Green (14-0 on March 26) and River Valley (12-7 on March 29) in the opening week.
Gallia Academy is in its first season of OVC competition, part of playing in two leagues this spring — with the final season of Southeastern Ohio Athletic League play ongoing.
On Friday, the Blue Angels amassed four runs apiece in the second and fifth innings, sandwiched around a three-run fourth frame for the 11 runs.
Gallia Academy amounted 14 hits, while freshman pitcher Hunter Copley tossed a complete game one-hit shutout.
The contest was called following the fifth inning with the 10-run mercy rule.
The Blue Angels went down in order in the first, and didn’t score with the bases loaded in the third which included a MaKenzie Barr two-out single, but they cranked out five hits apiece in the second and fifth — with the other three on their three runs in the fourth.
In the second, Jenna Meadows led off with a double and Barr was hit by a pitch, as a two-out two-run single by Cassidy Starnes gave the Blue Angels all the runs they would need for the win.
Ryleigh Caldwell and Paxton Roberts, who both rapped out a game-high three hits along with Barr, collected back-to-back RBI-singles in the second for the early 4-0 lead.
Barr then doubled in Meadows in the fourth to make it 7-0.
Starnes singled again in the fifth, as Copley in the second and Allie Jo Clagg in the fifth rounded out the Blue Angels’ hits.
Barr boasted three runs batted in, along with two apiece from Clagg, Roberts and Starnes.
Copley took care of the rest in the circle, throwing 79 pitches as 48 went for strikes.
She walked four and struck out four, allowing only a Cremeans single in the third for Ironton’s only hit.
She faced four batters apiece in the first, second and fourth, before retiring the Tigers 1-2-3 in the fifth.
The Tigers’ most serious scoring threat was in the third — when they advanced runners to third and second.
Elswick was the losing pitcher for Ironton, as eight of Gallia Academy’s 11 runs were earned.
Aside from the 14 hits, Meadows in the fourth and Kimberly Edelmann and Shelby Long in the third drew walks.
Gallia Academy returned to the road, and returned to OVC action, on Monday at South Point.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106