TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — The Eastern softball team rallied back from an early 5-0 deficit and claimed a season sweep of visiting Wahama on Monday night during a 13-9 victory in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup at Don Jackson Field in Meigs County.
The Lady Eagles (14-6, 11-1 TVC Hocking) maintained their perch atop the league standings, but the hosts had to put together one solid comeback effort after the Lady Falcons (10-7, 7-5) produced five runs in the top of the second inning.
WHS sent eight batters to the plate in that second frame, which led to a quintet of runs on one hit, three errors and a pair of walks — giving the guests their largest lead of the night.
EHS, however, followed with 11 consecutive runs over its next three innings at the plate — allowing the hosts to turn that early 5-0 deficit into a sizable six-run advantage.
Eastern got consecutive hits from Courtney Fitzgerald, Cera Grueser and Allison Barber during the second, all of which led to runs as the hosts closed the gap down to 5-3 through two complete.
The Lady Eagles followed by sending nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the third, which resulted in six runs on four hits, a walk and an error — allowing EHS to claim a 9-5 cushion. Emmalea Durst tied the game with a two-run homer to left-center, then Katlyn Barber scored what proved to be the winning run on a passed ball.
Mollie Maxon added a two-run blast to left field in the fourth, which gave Eastern its largest lead of the night at 11-5.
A pair of errors gave Wahama two baserunners in the fifth, then Taylor McGrew singled in Hannah Billups for an 11-6 deficit. The guests added two more scores in the top of the sixth as Rachel Roque singled home Amara Helton, then Roque scored on a passed ball for an 11-8 contest.
The Lady Eagles, however, answered right back with two runs in the home half of the sixth as Sidney Cook scored on a Durst triple, then Durst eventually scored on a Maxon sacrifice for a 13-8 contest through six complete.
McGrew singled home Billups in the top half of the seventh to make it a four-run contest, but the guests ultimately ran out of outs. EHS also claimed season sweep with a 7-5 win in Hartford back on April 6.
The Lady Eagles outhit the guests by a 12-9 overall margin, but also committed five of the seven errors in the contest. Wahama stranded five runners on base, while the hosts left only two on the bags.
Elaina Hensley was the winning pitcher of record after allowing nine runs, nine hits and two walks over seven frames while striking out four. McGrew suffered the loss after allowing 11 runs, 10 hits and one walk over five innings while fanning four. Cynthia Hendrick also gave up two runs and two hits in an inning of relief work for the Lady Falcons.
Durst and Grueser led Eastern with three hits apiece, followed by Cook and Fitzgerald with two safeties each. Maxon and Allison Barber also had a hit apiece for the victors.
Durst posted a team-high three RBIs, while Maxon and Allison Barber each knocked in two runs. Cook led the hosts with three runs scored, while Durst, Fitzgerald and Annalisa Boano also scored twice apiece for Eastern.
Hendrick, McGrew and Morgan Harrison had two hits apiece for WHS, while Roque, Helton and Emily VanMatre also added a safety each. Roque and McGrew knocked in two runs apiece, while Roque, Billups and Helton each scored twice in the setback.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.