MERCERVILLE, Ohio — A definite wake-up call.
The Eastern softball team overcame a 5-3 deficit with seven unanswered runs over the final three innings on Thursday night during a 10-5 victory over host South Gallia in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup in Gallia County.
The visiting Lady Eagles (7-3, 7-1 TVC Hocking) — who trail only Wahama in the league standings — took a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Cera Grueser hit a one-out solo homer to center, then Tess Rockhold delivered a two-out single that knocked in Mollie Maxon.
The score remained that way until the bottom of the third as the Lady Rebels erupted for four runs while turning a two-run deficit into a two-run cushion.
With runners on second and third, nobody out and the top of the order coming to the plate, Makayla Waugh delivered a single that plated Sydney St. Clair for a 2-1 deficit.
Isabella Cochran followed with a single that allowed Gabby Scurlock to score for a tie game, then Chloe Payne produced a one-out double that brought both Waugh and Cochran around for a 4-2 advantage through three complete.
Ally Barber singled home Emmalea Durst in the top half of the fourth to trim the deficit down to a run, but the Red and Gold answered with a Waugh single that drove in Savannah St. Clair while extending the lead back out to 5-3 through four full frames.
EHS, however, started taking control in the fifth, and the guests also got a little bit of help along the way.
Kelsey Roberts led the inning off with a single, then Kelsey Casto received a one-out walk and Durst followed with a single that loaded the bases.
A passed ball allowed Roberts to score as both Casto and Durst also moved up a base, then Kennadi Rockhold drew a two-out walk that loaded the bases.
A second passed ball allowed Casto to come home and tie the game at five, then Megan Maxon doubled in both Durst and Rockhold for a permanent lead at 7-5.
South Gallia didn’t have another baserunner the rest of the way, and the Green and White simply kept adding to their cushion.
Casto singled home Mollie Maxon in the sixth for a three-run edge, then an error allowed both Kennadi Rockhold and Megan Maxon to score in the seventh while wrapping up the 10-5 outcome.
The Lady Eagles outhit the hosts by an 8-4 overall margin and also played an error-free game, while SGHS committed three miscues. EHS stranded 10 runners on base, while the Lady Rebels left only four on the bags.
Tess Rockhold was the winning pitcher of record after allowing four hits and five walks over seven innings while striking out 10. Waugh took the loss after surrendering eight hits and nine walks over seven frames while fanning six.
Grueser, Roberts, Casto, Durst, Barber, Megan Maxon and both Rockholds had a hit apiece for the victors. Megan Maxon drove in a team-high two RBIs, while Durst, Mollie Maxon and Kennadi Rockhold each crossed home plate twice.
Waugh led the Lady Rebels with two hits, with Cochran and Payne also providing a safety each. Waugh and Payne also drove in two RBIs apiece.
Eastern travels to Waterford on Monday for a TVC Hocking game at 5 p.m.
South Gallia welcomes Southern on Monday in a TVC Hocking contest at 5 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.