WATERFORD, Ohio — The Southern softball team clinched a share of its first league title in six years Monday night following an 8-5 victory over host Waterford in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup in Washington County.
The Lady Tornadoes (16-5, 15-1 TVC Hocking) captured the program’s seventh league championship in school history, as well as the first since winning the league crown outright during the 2008 campaign. SHS and Eastern split decisions in the regular season and finished the year with matching 15-1 league marks.
Southern never trailed in the contest as the guests stormed out to an early 6-0 lead after three and a half frames, but the host Lady Wildcats answered with two runs in their half of the fourth to pull to within four.
Both teams added a run in the fifth for a 7-3 contest, then WHS rallied with two runs in the sixth to pull to within 7-5 headed into the final frame. Southern picked up an insurance run in the seventh and held on for the three-run decision.
SHS — which won the first matchup by a 14-0 count on May 8 — outhit the hosts by a 14-8 overall margin and both teams committed an error apiece in the contest.
Jordan Huddleston was the winning pitcher of record after allowing one walk over seven innings while striking out one. Hill suffered the setback for WHS after walking zero and fanning four over seven frames.
Ali Deem led Southern with four hits and two runs scored, while Caitlyn Holter and Cierra Turley chipped in three hits apiece to the winning cause. Turley hit a two-run homer in the fourth and had a team-best three RBIs, while Holter knocked in two runs.
Huddleston, Hannah Hill, Darien Diddle and Haley Hill also added a hit each for the Lady Tornadoes. Neslein, Hill and Heiss had two hits apiece for the hosts.