RACINE, Ohio — Regardless of how it looks, a win is a win, and a sweep is a sweep.
The Southern softball team — which defeated Waterford by a 14-3 count in five innings, on April 12 in Washington County — earned the season sweep of the Lady Wildcats on Friday night, as the Lady Tornadoes claimed a narrow 12-11 victory over WHS, at Star Mill Park.
Southern (10-7, 8-5 TVC Hocking) grabbed a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, as Brandy Porter singled home Hannah Hill and Savannah Bailey, and Josie Cundiff drove in Paige VanMeter.
Waterford (6-12, 4-11) got one run back in the top of the second, and then retired SHS in order in the bottom of the frame. Four hits and one error allowed the Lady Wildcats to take the lead with four runs in the top of the third inning.
Hannah Hill walked and scored on an error in the Lady Tornadoes’ half of the third inning, cutting the deficit to 5-4.
Two hits, two errors and one walk allowed Waterford to score four times in the fourth frame, making the lead to 9-4.
Southern began chipping away at the five-run deficit in the bottom of the fourth, as Haley Hill drove in Sabra Bailey, and Hannah Hill singled home Jaiden Roberts. With two outs in the fourth, Paige VanMeter doubled home Haley Musser and Hannah Hill, trimming the WHS lead back to one run.
The Green and White gained a little breathing room in the top of the fifth, scoring two runs on two hits and a walk.
The Lady Tornadoes pulled within one run with no outs in the bottom of the fifth, as Cundiff scored on an error and Sabra Bailey was singled home by Sydney Cleland. Haley Hill drove in Katie Barton to tie the game at 11, with one out in the frame. Hannah Hill hit a sac-fly to left field that plated Musser and gave the Lady Tornadoes a one-run advantage.
Waterford let a golden opportunity slip past in the sixth inning, committing the final out of the frame at home plate, while leaving another runner in scoring position.
SHS failed to add to its lead in the bottom of the sixth, but Waterford managed only one hit in the final inning, giving the hosts a 12-11 win.
Sydney Cleland was the winning pitcher of record for SHS, allowing 11 runs on 12 hits and two walks in a complete game effort. Cleland also came away with the game’s lone strikeout.
Emma Baldwin suffered the setback in the circle for the Green and White, allowing four runs on three hits in 2.1 innings of relief work. WHS starting pitcher Jordan Taylor threw 3.2 innings and gave up eight runs on seven hits and five walks.
Offensively, SHS was led by Hannah Hill, who was 2-for-2 with two RBI and three runs scored. VanMeter was 2-for-3 with one double, two RBI and one run scored, Sydney Cleland was 2-for-3 with one RBI, while Porter went 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Sabra Bailey was 1-for-3 with two runs scored, Haley Hill was 1-for-4 with two RBI, while Cundiff marked one run scored and one RBI for the hosts. Musser scored twice in the win, while Roberts, Barton and Savannah Bailey each crossed home plate once.
Denise Young led WHS at the plate, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. Madison Ohse singled twice and scored twice, Taylor tripled once and scored once, Ciera Burns added one double and one run scored, while Bailey Offenberger singled once and scored twice. Paige McCutcheon had one single and one run scored in the setback, while Baldwin and Melanie Radabaugh each singled once.
SHS will return to action on Monday in Mercerville, as the Lady Tornadoes resume a rain-delayed game with the Lady Rebels of South Gallia.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.