ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — The air was quite cold on Monday, but not the Meigs High School softball squad’s bats.
That’s because the Lady Marauders erupted for eight first-inning runs, en route to routing the visiting Athens Bulldogs 11-1 in an early-season Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division tilt at Dreams Field.
The Marauders muscled half of their 10 hits in the first frame, then tacked on two more runs in the third — followed by an unearned run in the fourth.
The contest was called following the fifth inning with the 10-run mercy rule.
Athens’ only run was in the opening at-bat, as the Marauders remained perfect in the TVC-Ohio at 2-0.
Meigs is now 6-1 overall, with its only loss coming in the form of a 15-14 non-league slugfest against Eastern on Saturday.
Alexander and Wellston won on Monday as well, keeping pace with the Marauders atop the division.
Athens, at 2-3 overall, fell one game back to 1-1 in the league.
As early as it is in the season, the Marauders still needed the win over the Bulldogs.
They wasted little time, taking an 8-1 lead after the opening inning.
Devyn Oliver, Taylor Swartz, Katie Gilkey and Alliyah Pullins plated four consecutive singles in that first frame, as Pullins had the game-tying hit by scoring Oliver.
Peyton Rowe put the Marauders ahead for good with a bases-clearing three-run double to make it 4-1, as Bre Colburn’s RBI-single made it 8-1.
Oliver actually singled again in the first, before being left stranded at third.
The Marauders also took advantage of Athens errors in the inning, part of a hefty seven for the entire game.
In the third, Swartz doubled and Pullins singled, as both also scored for the now 10-1 lead.
In the fourth, Danielle Morris reached on the Bulldogs’ final error, as Morgan Lodwick doubled her home to put the mercy rule into effect.
Kaylee Stewart, who scored Athens’ only run, was the losing pitcher.
Maddison Woodyard went the distance in the circle for Meigs, pitching a strong game with only the earned run on four hits and one walk.
She struck out six of the 20 Bulldogs she faced, retiring the side 1-2-3 in the second, third and fifth.
From the first through third frames, she retired seven straight.
In fact, Woodyard settled down after Stewart tripled with one out in the first, and then scored on Lilly Mills’ double.
The only other Bulldog baserunners were in the fifth, when Kat Kroutel and Grace Pratt both singled — and Marlrey Wilson drew a two-out walk.
But Woodyard kept Athens off the board by getting a groundout right back to her, and forcing Kroutel out at home for the third out.
The Marauders return to TVC-Ohio action on Wednesday — when they travel to Nelsonville-York (0-2 TVC-Ohio).
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106