ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — It’s hard to say which was better, Meigs’ offense or its defense. Either way the Lady Marauders are moving on to the sectional final.
The second-seeded Meigs softball team allowed just four hits to seventh-seeded Chillicothe, in the Division II sectional semifinal on Wednesday evening at Dreams Field, as the Lady Marauders rolled to an 8-0 victory.
Meigs (18-3) —which has now won five straight games —took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, as Alliyah Pullins singled home Devyn Oliver and then scored on a single by Danielle Morris.
After a scoreless second frame, the Lady Marauders added on in the third. First, Taylor Swartz tripled home Shalynn Mitchell, to give Meigs a 3-0 lead. Three pitches later, Pullins blasted a two-run home run, extending the MHS lead to 5-0.
After leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth inning, Meigs got back to work in the fifth, as a two-out single by Breanna Zirkle brought Morris around to score.
Oliver led the bottom of the sixth inning off with a triple and then scored on a sac-fly from Pullins. The Lady Marauders’ final run of the game was scored with two outs in the sixth when Peyton Rowe doubled home Swartz.
Pullins earned the pitching victory in a complete game for the Lady Marauders, allowing four hits and striking out eight batters.
“Pullins was on, she really hit her spots well,” MHS head coach Bryan Swann said. “Sometimes she’ll get a little too much of the plate when she doesn’t need to, but tonight she really hit her spots. I was really happy with some of the balls she got, because she was getting out there where we wanted to pitch.”
Daniels suffered the setback for Chillicothe (8-15), allowing eight runs on 12 hits and three walks.
Five different Lady Marauders recorded two hits apiece, while a pair of players had two hits in the win. Pullins was 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored and four runs batted in, Oliver was 2-for-4 with two triples and two runs scored, while Swartz was 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored and one RBI.
Morris recorded two singles, one run scored and one RBI for the victors, while Bre Colburn added a double and a single. Rowe doubled once and drove in one run, Zirkle added a single and an RBI, while Mitchell scored one run in the win.
“We seemed to hit the ball well,” Swann said. “We probably should have played small ball a little more, we probably left some runs on the table. As we get deeper in the tournament, runs are going to be more precious.”
Beckman, Corzine, Gallaugher and Johnson each had a hit for Chillicothe.
Meigs committed two errors and left eight runners on base, while the Lady Cavaliers had one error and four runners stranded.
This is the seventh consecutive campaign in which the Lady Marauders have won at least one postseason game.
“To me, a lot of that is the feeder program,” Swann said. “I think that we’re lucky in this area with the summer program that we have. Kids live and breath softball, and they’re developed by the time they get here.”
Chillicothe has now gone five postseasons since since their last tournament win.
The Lady Marauders — who won back-to-back sectional titles in 2014-15 — will go up against the team that kept it from winning a sectional title last season, when Waverly visits Rocksprings at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The third-seeded Lady Tigers defeated No. 6 Marietta by a 7-2 margin on Wednesday.
Waverly — which had eliminated Chillicothe from the last three postseasons — knocked off Meigs by an 8-0 count in last year’s sectional final at MHS.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext.2100.