GLOUSTER, Ohio — Staying in contention.
The Wahama softball team remained one game back of Eastern in the league standings following a 17-4 victory over host Trimble on Tuesday night in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division contest in Athens County.
The Lady Falcons (16-10, 12-3 TVC Hocking) never trailed as the guests built an 8-0 advantage midway through the second frame and ultimately never looked back.
The Red and White led 8-2 through two complete and then scored seven consecutive runs before the Lady Tomcats tacked on two runs in the home half of the fourth, making it a 15-4 contest.
WHS brought in two more scores in the top half of the fifth for its largest lead of the game, then retired Trimble in order to wrap up the mercy-rule outcome.
Wahama took a permanent lead in the top of the first as Maddy VanMatre singled home Emma Gibbs with two away in the frame, giving the guests a 1-0 edge.
The Lady Falcons sent a dozen batters to the plate in the second, which led to seven runs on eight hits and an error — giving the Red and White an eight-run cushion.
THS scored twice in the second to close to within six, but Maddy VanMatre drilled a three-run homer in the top of the third while starting a four-run outburst that gave the guests a 12-2 advantage.
Maddy VanMatre hit into a ground out that plated Hannah Rose in the fourth, then Victoria VanMatre singled in both Emma Gibbs and Emily VanMatre for a 15-2 lead.
Trimble plated two runs in the fourth to close the deficit down to 15-4, but the Lady Falcons answered with two scores of their own in the fifth as Gibbs knocked in Grace Haddox with a ground out and Emily VanMatre singled home Rose for a 13-run advantage.
Wahama outhit the hosts by a 20-9 overall margin and also committed only two of the five errors in the contest. Both teams stranded eight runners on base.
Hannah Billups was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two earned runs, six hits and one walk over three innings while striking out one. Lunsford took the loss after surrendering 11 earned runs and 15 hits over three frames while fanning one.
Rose led WHS with four hits and four runs scored, followed by Maddy VanMatre and Victoria VanMatre with three safeties apiece. Gibbs, Billups, Haddox, Emily VanMatre and Ashtyn Russell were next with two hits each.
Maddy VanMatre drove in a team-high six RBIs, while Rose and Victoria VanMatre each knocked in three RBIs. Gibbs and Emily VanMatre each scored three times, while Haddox also crossed home plate twice in the win.
Lunsford paced Trimble with three hits and Turley knocked in a team-best two RBIs.
Wahama claimed a season sweep of the Lady Tomcats after posting an 8-2 win in Hartford back on April 2.
The Lady Falcons still have a TVC Hocking road contest remaining with Miller. Wahama needs Southern to knock off Eastern on Friday to have a shot at a share of the league crown.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.