RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. — Score 20 runs and still fall below .500 on the season. Now that’s a bad night on the road.
The Southern softball team let a four-run lead slip away in the bottom of the seventh inning on Monday night following a heartbreaking 21-20 loss to host Ravenswood in a non-conference matchup in Jackson County.
The visiting Lady Tornadoes (7-8) found themselves trailing 6-1 through two innings of play, then both programs scored 10 runs apiece over the next two frames for a 16-11 contest through four complete.
The Purple and Gold followed by scoring four runs in the fifth and added another score in the top of the seventh to knot things up at 16-all through seven innings of play, then SHS exploded for four more runs in the ninth to take its first lead since the first inning at 20-16.
The Red Devilettes (13-7), however, rallied by plating five runs in their half of the ninth after five hits and an error allowed the host to pick up their third straight victory.
The game itself featured 41 runs and 41 hits to go along with 11 errors, with Southern pounding out 21 of those safeties while committing only five of the errors. Both teams also stranded 10 runners apiece on the bags.
After the five-inning adventure that led to a slim 16-15 RHS advantage, Southern managed to tie the game in the top of the seventh as Paige VanMeter blasted a one-out home run to left-center — tying the game at 16 while also forcing extra innings.
SHS followed in the top of the ninth by plating four runs with an error and six consecutive hits, which gave the guests a comfortable 20-16 cushion headed into the home half of the finale.
Ravenswood, however, put together four straight hits, then received a walk that was followed by an error — allowing RHS to knot the game up at 20-all. Mace singled home Cubides after the miscue, allowing the hosts to rally back for the slim one-run triumph.
Tabor was the winning pitcher of record after allowing 11 runs (nine earned), 15 hits and one walk over six innings of relief while striking out three. Sydney Cleland took the tough-luck loss after surrendering 18 earned runs, 20 hits and seven walks over 8.1 frames while fanning four.
Lauren Lavender led Southern with four hits, followed by VanMeter, Sierra Cleland and Kati Barton with three safeties apiece. Jaiden Roberts, Josie Cundiff and Sydney Cleland were next with two hits each, while Shelbi Daniels and Haley Musser added a safety apiece in the setback.
VanMeter — who also hit a home run in the fifth — led the guests with seven RBIs, followed by Lavender and Sierra Cleland with three RBIs apiece. Cundiff led the Lady Tornadoes with four runs scored, followed by VanMeter and Cierra Whitesell with three runs apiece.
Bowen and Cubides paced RHS with four hits apiece, followed by Mace and Johnson with three safeties each. Mace and Manns also knocked in a team-high five RBIs apiece for the victors.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.