PROCTORVILLE, Ohio — Keeping pace.
The Gallia Academy softball team remained tied atop the league standing on Friday night following an 8-5 victory over host Fairland in an Ohio Valley Conference contest in Lawrence County.
The visiting Blue Angels (14-2, 9-2 OVC) built leads of 2-1 and 3-1 after each of the first two innings of play, but the Lady Dragons countered with a three-run homer by Morgan Fridley in the home half of the third for their only lead of the night at 4-3.
GAHS rallied to tie the game in the fourth, then tacked on a run in the sixth and three more in the seventh to secure its largest lead of the night at 8-4. The hosts responded with a run in the bottom of the seventh, but ultimately ran out of chances in the three-run outcome.
Alex Barnes doubled in Ryelee Sipple in the top of the first for a 1-0 edge, then Bailey Meadows grounded out while bringing Barnes home for a two-run cushion.
Judge delivered a two-out single in the home half of the first that allowed Fridley to come home, making it a 2-1 contest an inning into play.
Chasity Adams started the second with a triple and scored one batter later when Hunter Copley reached safely on a bunt single, giving the Blue and White a 3-1 advantage.
After Fridley’s three-run blast, the Blue Angels wasted little time in tying things up as Adams again led off the fourth with a triple. Allie Young followed with a one-out single to center that plated Adams for a four-all contest.
Adams then led off the sixth with a bunt single and eventually stole second and advanced to third on an overthrow. A passed ball allowed Adams to stroll home with the game-winner while giving the guests a 5-4 lead.
Meadows delivered a one-out single in the seventh that allowed both Sipple and Barnes to score, then Meadows came plateward on a two-out double by Adams that led to an 8-4 advantage.
Roberts led off the bottom of the seventh by getting hit by a pitch, then an error allowed Roberts to come home for a three-run deficit. The next three FHS batters went down in order, giving Gallia Academy the 8-5 decision.
The Blue Angels outhit the hosts by a 13-6 overall margin and also committed three of the five errors in the game. Fairland stranded seven runners on base, while GAHS left only five on the bags.
Copley was the winning pitcher of record after allowing one earned run and two hits over four innings of relief while striking out two. Hoffman took the loss after surrendering four earned runs and 12 hits over seven frames while fanning two.
Adams led the Blue Angels with four hits, two RBIs and three runs scored, followed by Barnes with three safeties. Bailey Young was next with two hits, while Meadows, Copley and Allie Young each had a safety for the victors.
Leep paced Fairland with two hits, with Hoffman, Fridley, Brown and Judge each contributing a safety. Fridley led the hosts with three RBIs and also joined Roberts with two runs scored apiece.
Both teams will face one another again at 5 p.m. Monday in Centenary.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.