RACINE, Ohio — The Lady Tornadoes must have been eager to start the postseason.
The sixth-seeded Southern softball team held No. 11 seed South Gallia to just two hits in Monday’s Division IV sectional semifinal at Star Mill Park, as the Lady Tornadoes stormed to a 28-0 victory.
Southern (10-10) tallied six runs in the opening inning, with Josie Cundiff scoring on a one-out double by Paige VanMeter for the game-winning first run of the game.
The Lady Tornadoes extended their lead to 17-0 with 11 runs in the bottom of the second frame. Southern scored three times in the third inning and then added eight runs in the fourth, capping off the 28-0 win.
The Lady Rebels (0-20) failed to reach scoring position in the setback.
SHS junior Sydney Cleland earned the pitching victory, striking out six and allowing just two hits in a complete game effort.
Mackenzie Martin struck out three batters and suffered the loss in a complete game for SGHS, allowing 28 runs, 15 earned, on 24 hits and five walks.
Southern was led by the trio of VanMeter, Jaiden Roberts and Lauren Lavender, each finishing with four hits and four runs batted in. VanMeter was 4-for-5 with two doubles and one run scored, Roberts was 4-for-5 with a double and three runs scored, while Lavender was 4-for-4 with a double and four runs scored.
Helping her own cause, Sydney Cleland was 3-for-5 with a double, one run scored and four RBIs, while Haley Musser was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
Cundiff singled twice, scored four times and drove in two runs for the Purple and Gold, Kassie Barton singled twice, scored three runs and drove in three runs, while Katie Barton had two singles, three runs scored and three RBIs.
Kayla Boyer scored four runs for the victory, while Sierra Cleland and Phoenix Cleland both scored twice, with Sierra earning an RBI.
The first of the Lady Rebels’ hits was a single Irene Santos in the second inning, and the second was a single by Maddie Simpson in the fourth frame.
Southern left six runners on base and committed one error, while the Red and Gold had two runners left on base and seven errors.
The Lady Tornadoes also defeated SGHS in two regular season meetings, winning by a 25-2 count on March 29, in Racine, and then by a 17-2 final on April 11, in Mercerville.
The Lady Tornadoes advance to the sectional final on Thursday, when they will visit No. 3 Waterford.
Southern will be hoping that the third time is the charm, as the Lady Wildcats swept Southern in the regular season. WHS won by a 10-7 count on April 18, in Meigs County, and then by a 10-3 count on May 2, in Washington County.
South Gallia has one regular season game remaining on the schedule, as the Lady Rebels visit Federal Hocking on Tuesday. That will be the final game in the Red and Gold for South Gallia’s two seniors Maddie Simpson and Irene Santos.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.