CENTENARY, Ohio — Just too many missed opportunities.
The Gallia Academy softball team left the bases loaded in both of the final two innings, on Monday night, allowing Ohio Valley Conference guest Ironton to escape Gallia County with a 7-4 victory.
The Blue Angels (5-10, 3-4 OVC) scored the game’s opening run in the bottom of the first frame, as Allie Clagg scored on a two-out single by Allie Young.
Ironton was held scoreless for the first two innings, but tied the game with one out in the top of the third, when Kenzie Cremeens singled home Haylee Stevens. The Lady Tigers took the lead with two more runs in the third, as Katie Burchman singled home both Aley Camron and Ruthie Paholsky.
IHS added two runs with one out in the top of the sixth, as Cremeens singled home both Rylie Vaughn and Zjaytayia Mize. Stevens scored on the next at-bat, pushing the Ironton lead to 7-1.
GAHS — which had just one base runner over the previous three innings — loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the sixth. However, a pair of fly-outs sandwiched around a fielder’s choice ground-out allowed IHS to escape the sixth inning unscathed.
After retiring the Lady Tigers in order in the top of the seventh, Gallia Academy began the bottom half with two runners on and no outs.
Ironton got a fly-ball for the first out of the inning and followed it with a ground-out, which allowed Blue Angels’ pinch runner Aubrey Unroe to score. A single by Young plated Hunter Copley, making the score 7-3 with one-on and two outs.
An IHS error allowed Young to score and cut the deficit to 7-4. Ironton walked the next batter and then committed its third error of the inning, loading the bases. With the potential go-ahead run at the plate, the Lady Tigers got the ground-out they needed to cap off the 7-4 win.
Brooke Elswick — who struck out two batters in seven innings of work — earned the pitching victory for the Orange and Black, allowing four runs, one earned, on 10 hits and two walks.
Copley struck out six batters in a complete game effort for the Blue Angels and she suffered the pitching loss. Copley surrendered seven earned runs on 12 hits and three free passes.
The Blue Angel offense was led by Young and Mackenzie Barr, both of whom went 3-for-4. Barr doubled once, singled twice and drove in one run, while Young had three singles, one run scored and two RBI. Clagg and Copley both singled once and scored once for the Blue and White, Carly Shriver and Shelby Long each added one single, while Aubrey Unroe scored once in the setback.
Stevens led the victors with three hits and two runs scored in three at-bats, while Mize was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Cremeens was 2-for-4 with three RBI, Burchman was 1-for-4 with two RBI, while Carmon singled once, scored once and drove in one run. Pahosky and Vaughn both singled once and scored once, while Shay Cox added a single four the guests.
GAHS finished with one error and 11 runners left on base, while IHS had four errors and left seven runners stranded.
Gallia Academy — which has now dropped six straight decisions — defeated Ironton on April 1, by an 11-0 count, in Lawrence County.
After a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League clash at Logan on Tuesday, the Blue Angels will resume OVC play on Wednesday, when South Point is schedule to visit Centenary.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.