HEMLOCK, Ohio — One run would have been enough, but where’s the fun in that.
Thanks in large part to a complete game no-hitter thrown by junior pitcher Sydney Cleland, the Southern softball team claimed its fourth victory in its last five games, defeating Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Miller by a 22-0 count, in five innings on Monday night in Perry County.
The Lady Tornadoes (6-5, 6-3 TVC Hocking) went ahead 1-0 in the opening inning, when Jaiden Roberts scored on a Sydney Cleland groundout.
Southern added five more runs in the next frame, combining three hits with two walks. Shelbi Dailey and Katie Barton both scored for SHS in the third inning, extended the guests’ lead to 7-0.
The Purple and Gold pushed their lead to 8-0 in the fourth frame, when Lauren Lavender scored on a wild pitch.
Southern exploded for 14 runs on nine hits, six walks and an error in the final frame, putting the finishing touches on the 22-0 victory.
The first 12 Miller (2-6, 2-4) batters were retired in order, but MHS got its first base runner, via error, in the bottom of the fifth. Another Lady Falcon reached on a fielder’s choice, but Sydney Cleland still faced the minimum of 15 batters, as the game ended on a double play.
Sydney Cleland struck out four batters and walked none in the no-hit victory. Smith suffered the loss for Miller, allowing 22 runs, 10 earned, on 15 hits and 12 walks. Smith struck out three in a complete game effort.
At the plate, Paige VanMeter led the Lady Tornadoes with a 3-for-3 effort, that included three doubles and four runs batted in.
Five Lady Tornadoes came up with two hits each in the game. Roberts was 2-for-2 with four runs scored, three RBIs and a game-best three stolen bases, Josie Cundiff was 2-for-3 with three runs scored and one RBI, while Lavender was 2-for-4 with a double, three runs scored and two RBIs. Dailey and Katie Barton both went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI, with Barton doubling once.
SHS senior Sierra Cleland singled once, scored once and drove in two runs, while Sydney Cleland singled once and drove in one run. Ciera Whitesell crossed home plate three times in the win, Kassie Barton added a pair of runs, while Phoenix Cleland and Kayla Boyer both scored once.
Southern left seven runners on base and committed one error, while Miller had three defensive miscues.
After hosting Waterford on Tuesday, Southern will attempt to complete the sweep of Miller on Wednesday, when these teams meet in Racine.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.