TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — One big win wasn’t enough, the Lady Eagles had to have two on Thursday evening.
The Eastern softball team claimed a pair of 15-run, mercy rule victories over Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division guest South Gallia, in doubleheader at Don Jackson Field in Meigs County.
In the opening game, both teams were scoreless in the first inning, but Eastern (7-0, 7-0 TVC Hocking) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. EHS pushed its lead to 3-0, scoring once in the bottom of the third.
The Lady Eagles surged for 13 runs in the fourth inning, extending their lead to 16-0. South Gallia (0-9, 0-7) scored once in the top of the fifth, but ultimately fell by a 16-1 final.
The winning pitcher of record in the opening game was EHS junior Elaina Hensley, who struck out eight batters. Savannah St. Clair suffered the setback in the circle fore South Gallia, striking out one batter.
For Eastern, Emmalea Durst posted a pair of hits, including a double, while Taylynn Rockhold and Hannah Sharp both singled once.
EHS senior Katlyn Barber — who reached base in all four of her plate appearances, walking once and getting hit by three pitches — scored a game-best three runs. Rockhold, Sharp, Kelsey Casto, Ivy Adams and Haley Burton each scored twice in the opening game, while Durst, Ally Barber, and Abbie Hawley scored one run apiece.
Olivia Hornsby singled twice and scored once to lead the SGHS offense, while Nanako Yoshino, Maddie Simpson and Brooke Campbell each singled once.
In the second game, Eastern — now the visiting team on the scoreboard — scored three runs in the first inning and three more in the second. The EHS lead grew to 8-0 after scoring two runs in the third inning.
In the fourth inning, the Lady Eagles tallied six runs, highlighted by a two-run Sidney Cook home run. Eastern added one run in the fifth inning to complete the 15-0 mercy rule win.
Sophia Carleton struck out 11 and earned the pitching victory for EHS, while Mackenzie Martin suffered the setback for South Gallia.
Courtney Fitzgerald led the Lady Eagles at the plate with three hits, including two doubles. Cook posted two hits — a home run and a double — while Carleton and Cera Grueser both singled once.
Cook scored a team-best four times in the second game, while Fitzgerald crossed home plate three times. Grueser, Adams and Ally Barber each scored twice, while Hawley and Sharp both crossed home plate once.
Keirsten Howell had the Lady Rebels’ lone hit in the second game, a single in the third inning.
After Saturday’s Thunder in the Valley tournament, Eastern will resume league play on Tuesday, at Federal Hocking.
After a doubleheader with Miller on Saturday, South Gallia will have a non-conference showdown with River Valley, on Tuesday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.