Blue Angels fend off Fairland, 5-4

By Bryan Walters -

PROCTORVILLE, Ohio — Just enough left at the end.

The Gallia Academy softball team built a five-run lead midway through the fourth inning and ultimately held on Wednesday night for a 5-4 victory over host Fairland in an Ohio Valley Conference matchup in Lawrence County.

The visiting Blue Angels (9-11, 9-4 OVC) led wire-to-wire in the seven-inning affair, which included leads of 1-0 and 4-0 after each of the first two frames.

The Blue and White built a permanent lead in the first as Bailey Meadows delivered a two-out double that plated Abby Hammons for a 1-0 edge.

Chasity Adams reached on an error that allowed Kyla Miller to score for a 2-0 cushion, then Hammons followed with a two-out single that knocked in both Alex Barnes and Adams for a four-run advantage.

GAHS took its largest lead of the night in the top of the fourth as Barnes scored on a one-out triple by Adams for a 5-0 edge.

The Lady Dragons, however, produced a trio of singles in their half of the fourth, plus benefited from two Gallia Academy errors en route to scoring four runs for a one-run contest.

Bowen and Hoffman started the inning with singles, then Combs bunted herself aboard with one away to load the bases.

An error allowed Lester to reach safely as both Bowen and Hoffman scored, then Leep reached on an error that brought Combs home for a 5-3 deficit. Bowling grounded out while driving in Lester for a one-run contest through five complete.

FHS mustered only one baserunner the rest of the way, while Gallia Academy had a runner in each of its last two innings at the plate — including a runner that was stranded at third base.

Gallia Academy also claimed a season sweep of the Green and White after posting a 14-7 decision in Centenary back on April 15.

The Blue Angels outhit the hosts by an 8-4 overall margin and also committed two of the five errors in the game. GAHS stranded six runners on base, while Fairland left three on the bags.

Meadows was the winning pitcher of record after allowing four unearned runs and four hits over seven innings while striking out six. Hoffman took the loss after surrendering two earned runs, nine hits and three walks over seven frames while fanning six.

Barnes led the guests with three hits and two runs scored, followed by Hammons with two hits and two RBIs. Adams, Meadows, Malerie Stanley and Hunter Copley also produced a hit apiece for the victors.

Combs led FHS with two hits, while Bowen and Hoffman provided a safety apiece.

Gallia Academy completed OVC play on Thursday after traveling to Chesapeake.

The Blue Angels begin postseason play on Saturday when they travel to Vincent for a Division II sectional quarterfinal against Warren. First pitch is slated for 11 a.m.

By Bryan Walters

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.