STEWART, Ohio — Sometimes all you need is one big inning.
The River Valley softball team scored 13 runs in the third inning of Friday night’s sectional final in Athens County, propelling the Lady Raiders to a 20-15 victory and a spot in the district tournament for the first time since 2006.
The Lady Lancers (6-11) marked a pair of runs in the opening inning to grab the lead but River Valley (8-15) answered with a pair of runs in the top of the second. Federal Hocking regained the lead with a run in the bottom of the second but a 13-run third inning, highlighted by a two-run double by Cori Williams, gave RVHS the 15-3 lead.
Five runs in each the bottom of the third and the bottom of the fourth helped FHHS cut the deficit to 16-13. River Valley scored twice in the top of the fifth and twice more in the top of the seventh to go ahead 20-13. The Lady Lancers scored twice in the bottom of the seventh but RVHS put the game away and took the 20-15 victory.
Ashley Gilmore earned the win in the circle for RVHS, striking out six, walking 11 and hitting three batters. Ashton Cale suffered the loss, while striking out four, walking five and hitting three batters.
Amanda Eddy and Cori Williams led the Lady Raiders with three hits apiece, followed by Katie Mares with two. Ashley Gilmore, Mariah Hurt, Libby Leach and Erin Morgan each had one hit in the win. Mares had a team-high three runs batted in, Williams added two, while Eddy, Gilmore, Mariah Hurt and Chelsea Copley each had one RBI.
Mares scored four runs, Eddy and Copley both crossed the plate three times, Williams, Gilmore, Leach adn Alexis Hurt all scored twice, while Mariah Hurt and Morgan each scored once. Copley had a game-best three stolen bases.
Tabler and Hickman led FHHS with three hits apiece, while Hatfield and Cale each had two hits. Wells, Cobb and Glass each had a hit in the win. Tabler scored three times, while Cale and Hatfield each had three runs batted in.
River Valley will meetup with top-seeded Wheelersburg on Tuesday at Unioto High School.