BELPRE, Ohio — The young Lady Raiders held strong for a while, but Belpre — eventually — broke through.
That’s because Belpre, in Saturday’s season-opening softball doubleheader, swept River Valley 10-0 and 9-3 at Civitan Park in Belpre.
In the opening tilt, the host Golden Eagles erupted for nine runs in the fifth inning — putting the 10-run mercy rule into effect following scoring their initial run in the fourth.
In the nightcap, Belpre scored four runs in the second, then tacked on three points in the sixth and finally two more in the seventh.
The Raiders did score a run apiece in the fourth, sixth and seventh stanzas.
Katie Osburn, in the first game, allowed just two hits and one walk while pitching all five innings for the complete-game shutout.
She struck out 10, including for all three outs in the second inning —part of five consecutive at one point and seven out of eight.
She retired 10 Raiders in a row —facing only three batters apiece in the second thru fourth frames.
Baylee Hollanbaugh drew a one-out walk for the Raiders in the first, while Chloe Gee with a single in the first and Isabella Mershon with a single in the fifth were their only basehits.
Arika Barr was the starting and losing pitcher for River Valley, allowing nine earned runs on six hits and six walks with five strikeouts.
Hollanbaugh pitched also, and allowed one run on one hit.
Osburn helped her cause in the fourth by scoring the only run the Golden Eagles needed.
She doubled, stole third, and scored on a passed ball.
Lauryn Simmons paced the Golden Eagles with two hits, including a fifth-inning three-run triple.
Hannah McDaniel drove in Simmons with a triple on the next at-bat, ending the game.
In the second outing, Madison Harman hurled a complete game for the win, allowing only one earned run on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
Hollanbaugh had a complete game for River Valley, giving up eight earned runs on 11 hits with one walk and two Ks.
Five Golden Eagles had two hits apiece —Simmons, Osburn, Harman, Bri Elkins and Kaitlin Richards.
The other was an RBI-single by McDaniel to make 8-2.
Simmons smacked a pair of doubles, while Osburn, Harman and Richards registered one apiece.
Belpre bagged all the runs it needed in the second inning — when Elkins and Harman had singles, followed by Hollanbaugh’s only walk of the game to Alexandria Williams.
Makaylee Deaton drove in Elkins and Harman on a Raider error, then Richards roped her double to cross Williams and Deaton.
Harman helped her cause with an RBI-double in the fifth for the 7-1 lead, as McDaniel and Osburn both singled in the sixth to make it 9-2.
Gee, Mershon, Hollanbaugh, Kaylee Tucker, Kasey Birchfield and Destiny Williams all had hits for River Valley, as Mershon doubled and scored its opening two runs.
Birchfield scored the seventh-inning run, after singling to lead off and scoring on a pair of passed balls.
The Raiders return home, and return to non-league action, today (Tuesday, March 28) against Oak Hill.
First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106