BIDWELL, Ohio — A bitter pill to swallow.
Vinton County mustered only three hits over the final two frames, but the guests also plated five runs while rallying in eight innings for an 8-7 victory over the River Valley softball team on Monday in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division contest in Gallia County.
The Lady Raiders (4-9, 3-8 TVC Ohio) trailed 3-0 through two innings of play, but the hosts countered with six consecutive scores while flipping a three-run deficit into a 6-3 cushion through six complete.
The Lady Vikings, however, utilized two walks, two errors and a single in the top half of the seventh to knot things up at six. VCHS followed with two hits, a walk and an error that led to two scores — all with two outs — while building an 8-6 edge.
RVHS pulled to within a run after a two-out single by Bailey Hollanbaugh plated Sierra Somerville, then Hollanbaugh moved into scoring position following a Cierra Roberts walk.
Isabella Mershon drilled an 0-1 pitch straight towards second base, but Peoples snagged the line drive to wrap up the extra-inning thriller.
The Lady Vikings also salvaged a season split after dropping a 14-1 decision in McArthur back on April 12.
Only five earned runs were scored in the contest, with four of those coming from the Silver and Black offense. The hosts also ended up committing six of the nine errors over the course of eight frames.
The Maroon and Gray built a 2-0 lead after an inning and were up 3-0 through two complete, but the Lady Raiders started mounting a comeback in the home half of the third as Roberts delivered a two-out single that plated Hollanbaugh for a 3-1 deficit.
River Valley tied things in the fourth as Kaylee Tucker banged out a two-out single to center that allowed both Airika Barr and Somerville to come home.
After a scoreless fifth, Somerville gave RVHS its first lead with a one-out triple that plated Barr. Somerville later came home on a Tucker sacrifice bunt-turned-error, then Tucker scored on a two-out single by Roberts for a 6-3 edge after six complete.
Barnett started the seventh with a walk and eventually scored on a single and two-base error that put Ward on third. Reffit grounded out to first as Ward came home, allowing VCHS to close to within 6-5.
Rader walked and eventually came around to score on a three-base throwing error following a dropped third strike. Faught — who reached first on the error — was ultimately stranded at second with two away in the seventh.
After going down in order in the home half of the seventh, River Valley was sharp in the early moments of the eighth as back-to-back strikeouts left the top of Vinton County’s batting order coming to the plate.
Barnett reached on a two-base error, then stole third before coming in on a Ward single while making it a 7-6 contest. Reffit followed with a single to left-center that allowed Ward to score for a two-run cushion.
The Lady Raiders outhits the guests by an 11-7 overall margin, but also stranded 10 runners on base — compared to the eight left on the bags by Vinton County.
Abby Faught was the winning pitcher of record after allowing four earned runs, 11 hits and two walks over eight innings while striking out nine. Barr took the loss after surrendering one earned run, seven hits and five walks over eight frames while fanning 10.
Roberts and Somerville led the Lady Raiders with three hits apiece, followed by Barr with two safeties. Hollanbaugh, Mershon, and Tucker also had a hit each in the setback.
Tucker paced RVHS with three RBIs and Roberts drove in a pair of runs. Somerville and Barr respectively scored three and two runs as well.
Ward and Reffit led the Lady Vikings with two hits apiece, with Barnett, Hembree and Peoples also delivering a safety each. Reffit drove in three RBIs, while Barnett and Ward each led the guests with three runs scored.
River Valley hosted Athens on Tuesday and will complete its regular season on Friday when it welcomes South Gallia. Both contests were scheduled for 5 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.