Gallia Academy 17, Belpre 3
The Blue Angels pounded out 16 hits and built leads of 4-0, 9-2 and 15-3 through three innings of play while rolling to a 17-3 thumping of Belpre at the Eastman Athletic Complex. GAHS (1-0) led wire-to-wire and had nine different players pound out hits in the season opening triumph. Grace Truance, Maddi Meadows and Preslee Reed each went 3-for-4 and combined to drive in seven runs, while Bailee Young also added two safeties and scored twice. Addy Burke also drive in three runs for the hosts, while Taylor Mathie knocked in two runs and scored three different times. The Lady Golden Eagles — who committed six of the eight errors in the game — managed five hits and three runs off of GAHS starter Bella Barnette, who struck out two and gave up a walk in the winning decision. BHS had five different players produce a hit in the setback, with Johnson and Hodgson each driving in a run. It was the first varsity win for Gallia Academy coach Mike Burke, who technically enters his second season in charge of the Blue Angel program.
Southern 5, Nelsonville-York 4
The Lady Tornadoes (1-2) rallied their way into the win column, scoring four times in the top of the seventh inning. Nelsonville-York was up 3-0 two innings into play, scoring once in the first and twice in the second. SHS got on the board with one run on three hits in the top of the third, and then the defense did its job, holding NYHS scoreless for the next four frames. A no-out single by Kayla Evans brought Michelle Camp around to score, but the next two Lady Tornadoes were retired. A two-out single by Kassidy Chaney brought Evans home, and then Ally Shuler doubled home Chaney to give the guests the lead at 4-3. Kylee Rife then drove in Shuler for what turned out to be a very important insurance run, as Nelsonville-York scored once in the bottom of the seventh, but left the potential game-tying run stranded on second base. Chaney — who earned the win in a complete game, striking out six batters — led the SHS offense, going 3-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI. Shuler and Evans both had two hits for Southern, with Shuler driving in two runs and scoring once, and Evans crossing home plate twice. Ryleigh Giffin struck out 10 batters in a complete game for NYHS, and also led the Lady Buckeye offense, going 3-for-4 with double and a run scored.
Eastern 6, Fort Frye 5
After giving up a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, the Eagles (1-0) pushed across four runs in the top of the second inning, with six consecutive batters reaching base with one out in the frame. The Cadets got a run back in the bottom of the third, but Eastern gained some breathing room with two runs on three hits in the top of the fourth. A three-run fifth inning brought the hosts back to within a run, but Owen Johnson sat the final six Cadets down in order to pick up the save. Matthew Blanchard was the winning pitcher of record with a five-inning effort for the Eagles, striking out 10 batters. Brayden Smith and Preston Thorla both went 3-for-4 and scored a run in the win, with Smith doubling twice. Bruce Hawley was hit by a pitch in all-3 of his plate appearances, and wound up scoring a team-best two runs. Long and Layton were both 2-for-4 for Fort Frye, with Long blasting a home run and scoring three of his team’s five runs.
Southern 4, Nelsonville-York 2
A pitcher’s duel turned into a shootout, as the Tornadoes (1-0) broke the scoreless tie with two runs in the top of the fifth inning, only for the Buckeyes to tie it up at two in the bottom half. Southern reestablished the lead with Josiah Smith scoring on a Jacob Milliron sac-fly in the top of the sixth, and then SHS was gifted an insurance run on a NYHS error in the top of the seventh. The Buckeyes left a runner in scoring position in each of the final two innings. Lance Stewart earned the win in five innings on the mound for SHS, striking out nine batters. Jonah Diddle tossed the final two frames for the save, and struck out four Buckeyes. Will Wickline led the Purple and Gold at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. All-12 hits in the contest were singles.
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