GLOUSTER, Ohio — Simply put, the Lady Tomcats did a better job of taking advantage of their opportunities.
Host Trimble never trailed and stranded only one baserunner Thursday night during a 3-2 victory over the Southern softball team in a Division IV sectional championship contest in Athens County.
The fifth-seeded Lady Tornadoes (13-8) trailed 2-0 through two complete and then surrendered a run in the bottom half of the sixth for a three-run deficit, but the guests finally found some sort of offensive rhythm in their final trip to the plate.
Paige VanMeter started the top of the seventh with a leadoff single, then advanced to third on an error that allowed Brandy Porter to reach safely. Lauren Lavender entered the game as a courtesy runner for Porter, then Savannah Bailey grounded out as VanMeter scored for a 3-1 contest.
Sabra Bailey followed with a one-out single that allowed Lavender to score from second base, pulling the Lady Tornadoes within a run at 3-2. Bailey, however, was stranded at second base as THS recorded outs on the next two batters, which ultimately ended the contest.
The fourth-seeded Lady Tomcats (13-5) took a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the second as Taya Lackey delivered a two-RBI double that plated both Hannah Warren and Alyssa Turley. Kaitlyn Spears also singled and scored on a wild pitch in the sixth for a 3-0 lead.
The Lady Tornadoes outhit the hosts by a slim 6-5 overall margin, with Trimble committing the only error of the game. SHS, however, left four runners stranded on base, compared to the lone baserunner left on by THS.
Nikki Kish was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two runs (one earned), six hits and zero walks over seven innings while striking out five.
Sydney Cleland suffered the tough-luck loss after surrendering three earned runs, five hits and zero walks over six frames while fanning three.
Sabra Bailey led Southern with three hits and Ali Deem added a pair of safeties in the setback. VanMeter also had a hit for the guests.
Both Baileys produced an RBI, while Lavender and VanMeter each scored once.
It was the final softball game for seniors Ali Deem, Sabra Bailey, Savannah Bailey, Haley Hill, Hannah Hill and Brandy Porter in the Purple and Gold.
Spears, Warren, Turley, Kish and Lackey each had a hit for the victors. Spears, Warren and Turley all crossed home plate once apiece, while Lackey drove in both of the Lady Tomcats’ RBIs.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.