HARTFORD, W.Va. — One frame can make all the difference.
With the game tied at two, the Wahama softball team struck for three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, and the Lady Falcons held on for the 5-2 victory over Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division guest Southern, on Wednesday night in Mason County.
After a scoreless first frame for both sides, Wahama (9-6, 5-0 TVC Hocking) broke through in the bottom of the second inning, when Logan Eades — the courtesy runner for catcher Maddy VanMatre — scored on Cynthia Hendrick sacrifice-fly.
WHS freshman Hannah Rose tripled in the third inning and then scored on a Hannah Billups single, pushing the WHS lead to 2-0.
Southern (4-5, 4-3) finally broke through in the top of the fourth, when Sydney Cleland drove home Jaiden Roberts. Later in the frame, Ciera Whitesell — courtesy runner for Cleland — scored on a two-out bases loaded error, tying the game at two.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Lady Falcons committed a pair of outs in between third base and home plate and were held scoreless.
Wahama broke through in the bottom of the sixth, however, as Amara Helton scored on an error, Rose scored on Billups’ sac-fly, and Taylor McGrew scored on Maddy VanMatre’s single.
Southern recorded just one hit over the final three frames, as WHS sealed the 5-2 win.
McGrew earned the pitching victory for Wahama, striking out five in a complete game, while allowing two runs on five hits and one walk.
Sydney Cleland struck out three batters in a complete game in the circle for Southern and suffered the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks.
Wahama’s offense was led by Rose with a 2-for-3 day, including one triple and two runs scored. Maddy VanMatre was also 2-for-3, driving in one run. Billups singled once and drove in two runs for the victors, McGrew singled once and scored once, while Emily VanMatre added a single. Helton and Eades both scored once in the win.
Paige VanMeter led the Lady Tornadoes at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. Roberts singled once and scored once, Sydney Cleland added a single and an RBI, while Josie Cundiff contributed a single and Whitesell chipped in with a run scored.
Southern committed two errors and left two runners on base in the setback, while Wahama had one error and six runners stranded.
These teams are set to meet again on Thursday, at Star Mill Park.
Wahama returns to action on Friday, at Buffalo, against Wirt County at 3 p.m. and against the host Lady Bison at 7 p.m.
Southern will be back on the diamond on Monday, at Miller.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342.