WATERFORD, Ohio — A marathon effort ends in walk-off fashion.
The Southern softball team and Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division foe Waterford required 10 innings to determine a winner on Monday night, and the host Wildcats ultimately proved victorious by a count of 7-6 in Washington County.
The Lady Tornadoes held a 4-2 advantage through three innings, as they utilized three hits a walk and an error by the hosts to rally from an early two-run deficit.
SHS extended its lead in the top of fifth, as Kaitlyn DeLaCruz hit a solo home run to widen the margin to 5-2.
The Lady Wildcats however knotted the game at 5-all in the bottom of the fifth, as they sent seven hitters to the plate and manufactured three runs on three hits, a wild pitch and two SHS errors.
Southern countered in the sixth, as Jaiden Roberts reached on a one-out singled and scored on a two-out double by Abby Cummins to take a 6-5 lead.
Waterford tied the contest at 6-all in the bottom of the sixth, as Marissa Neader reached on a one-out single, advanced to third on a wild pitch and later scored on a ground ball off of the bat of Denise Young.
Both clubs failed to score in the seventh, as each team left a runner in scoring position to force extra-innings.
Southern threatened to break the tie in each of the final three innings, as they left a total of six runners on base over that span.
Waterford broke the tie in the bottom of the 10th inning, as Leach led off with with a hit by pitch and later scored on a one-out walk-off single to close out the one-run win.
Cummins suffered the complete game loss for the Lady Tornadoes, as she worked 9⅓ innings in the pitch circle and surrendered seven runs on 11 hits, with five walks and five strikeouts. Cummins also had two hits at the plate.
DeLaCruz led the way for the Purple and Gold on offense with three hits, two RBI and one run scored.
Roberts and Lauren Lavender each finished with two safeties, respectively. Roberts also scored twice, while Lavender was driven home once in the contest.
Josie Cundiff, Paige VanMeter and Kassie Barton each had one hit apiece to conclude the hit totals for SHS. Cundiff and Cierra Whitesell both scored one run, while VanMeter drove in two RBI to conclude the offensive totals for Southern.
The setback for the Lady Tornadoes served as a season series split with Waterford, having previously defeated the Lady Wildcats by a final of 7-2 on April 11 in Racine, Ohio.
Scott Jones can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext 2106.