RACINE, Ohio — Snapping the skid with a super sixth inning.
The Southern softball team ended its four-game losing skid with a 10-5 victory over Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division guest Federal Hocking on Wednesday at Star Mill Park, with the Lady Tornadoes tallying five runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Southern (5-8, 3-8 TVC Hocking) — which also defeated Federal Hocking by an 8-5 tally on April 1 in Stewart — fell behind 2-0 in Wednesday’s game, surrendering a run in each of the first two innings.
The Lady Tornadoes ended its two-inning scoreless drought in a big way, as Baylee Grueser led off the third inning with a home run. A two-out single by Ally Shuler brought Cierra Whitesell around to score and tied the game at two. Southern took a 3-2 lead in the very next at-bat, as Caitlynn DeLacruz singled home Shuler.
The Purple and Gold added another run to their lead in the following inning, as Grueser drove in Avery King.
The Lady Lancers ended a two-inning drought with a run in the top of the fifth, but King singled home Brooke Crisp in the bottom half of the fifth, making Southern’s advantage 5-3.
Federal Hocking tied the game at five after a pair of SHS errors in the top of the sixth, but stranded the go-ahead run on second.
The Lady Tornadoes reestablished the advantage with a three-run single by DeLacruz with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Crisp was singled home by Jordan Hardwick to give SHS a 9-5 edge, and then King scored on an error to cap off the 10-5 triumph.
Abby Cummins was the winning pitcher of record in a complete game for Southern, striking out three and walking three, while allowing five runs, three earned, on six hits.
Wilkes took the pitching loss in a complete game for the guests, giving up 10 runs, eight earned, on 12 hits and a walk, while striking out two.
DeLacruz led the Lady Tornado offense, going 3-for-4 with four runs batted in. Shuler and King were both 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one run batted in, Hardwick was 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Whitesell was 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Grueser added another RBI to go with her solo home run, which was the only extra-base hit of the game. Kayla Boyer singled once and scored once in the win, Crisp crossed home plate twice, while Kassie Barton made it home one time.
Wilkes, Gould and Simpson each had a single and an RBI for the guests, Martin, Walker and Smith each singled once and scored once, while Brooks recorded a team-best two runs.
The Lady Tornadoes committed five errors and left six runners on base, while FHHS had four errors and seven runners stranded.
After a trip to Waterford on Thursday, SHS is slated to visit River Valley on Friday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.