Southern loses late at Belpre

By Paul Boggs -

BELPRE, Ohio — For the Lady Tornadoes, it was one that got away.

The Southern High School softball squad led the Belpre Golden Eagles 3-1 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, but Belpre rallied for a 4-3 walkoff win on Thursday at Civitan Park in Belpre.

Southern scored twice in the opening inning, then tacked on an insurance marker in the sixth.

However, that 3-1 lead didn’t hold.

The Golden Eagles earned one back in the sixth, on a solo home run by Katie Osburn, then rallied with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to win 4-3.

Trailing 3-2, Belpre’s Danielle Sistrunk led off with a walk, then consecutive singles by Caitlin Richards, Lauryn Simmons and Olivia Shutts produced the game-winning runs.

Shutts’ RBI-single was the winner to score Richards.

The loss meant Belpre swept Southern for the season, as the Golden Eagles also won the first matchup — 10-5 at Southern on April 5.

The Tornadoes fell to 4-6 — and an even 4-4 in the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division.

Belpre raised its record to 7-3 — and 7-2 in the league.

Southern’s Sydney Cleland went the distance in the pitcher’s circle, allowing 11 hits and two walks with five strikeouts.

Belpre pitcher Madison Harman gave up eight hits and three walks, but did strike out seven Tornadoes in gaining the complete-game win.

Southern scored a pair in the first when Ali Deem doubled, before Hannah Hill reached on an error — and Paige VanMeter doubled both in.

But Harman escaped further damage following a double by Brandy Porter and a Savannah Bailey walk.

Katie Burton and Deem did single in the second, but again both baserunners were left stranded.

The Tornadoes tacked on another run in the sixth — when Sabra Bailey and Burton drew leadoff walks, then Deem drove in Bailey for the 3-1 lead.

VanMeter and Porter doubled and singled respectively in the sixth, but Harman had two strikeouts to end the inning.

Southern stranded eight runners altogether, including the bases loaded in the sixth.

Osburn led the Lady Eagles with three hits, which also included singles in the first and third.

Simmons and Alexandria Williams wound up with two hits apiece, including a double by both.

Belpre scored an unearned run on a leadoff error in the third, before Osburn’s solo shot in the sixth.

Harman and Bri Elkins added singles in the sixth, setting up the walkoff in the last.

The Tornadoes return home, and return to TVC-Hocking action, on Monday against Trimble.

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2343, ext. 2106

By Paul Boggs