WATERFORD, Ohio — A great start, but not much more.
The Southern softball team led Waterford by three runs early on in Thursday’s Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division game in Washington County, but the host Lady Wildcats clawed back and took a 14-4 victory in six innings.
Southern (5-9, 3-9 TVC Hocking) —which fell to WHS by a 21-1 count on April 2 in Racine — broke the scoreless tie in just the third at-bat of Thursday’s game, with Caitlynn DeLacruz doubling home Kassie Barton. Later in the frame, Cassidy Roderus and Jordan Hardwick were doubled home by Abby Cummins, giving SHS a 3-0 lead.
Waterford got two runs back in the bottom of the first, but the Lady Tornadoes went up 4-2 in the top of the third, when Cummins singled home Barton.
The Lady Wildcats, however, took a 6-4 lead with a four-run third inning and never looked back, scoring six runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to cap off the 14-4 mercy rule win.
Cummins took the pitching loss in four innings for the guests, striking out one and walking one, while giving up 12 runs, four earned, on 11 hits. Barton pitched the final frame for the Purple and Gold, giving up two earned runs on two hits and a walk.
Smitley pitched five frames and earned the win for the Lady Wildcats, striking out one and walking one, while giving up four runs, one earned, on eight hits. Baldwin pitched a perfect final inning for the hosts.
Southern’s offense was led by Cummins, who was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs, and DeLacruz, who was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Ally Shuler doubled once for the Purple and Gold, while Barton, Hardwick and Cierra Whitesell each singled once, with Barton scoring two runs, Hardwick scoring once and Roderus scoring once.
Leading Waterford, Young was 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI, Jones was 2-for-3 with a home run, three runs scored and three RBIs, while Smitley was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Southern committed seven errors and left four runners on base, while WHS had one error and four runners stranded.
On Monday, the Lady Tornadoes are scheduled to visit Miller.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.