WATERFORD, Ohio — A tough way to go out.
The Southern softball team struck first first blood and the final blow, but the in-between ultimately caught up with them Wednesday night during a 4-3 setback to host Waterford in a Division IV sectional final in Washington County.
The visiting Lady Tornadoes (9-9) built a quick a 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Lauren Smith scored on a groundout and Marlo Norris crossed home plate on an RBI-single by Chloe Rizer.
The Lady Cats countered with a run in both the first and second frames to knot the game up through two complete.
Cara Taylor led the first off with a triple and later stole home, then Mackenzie Suprano stole home in the second — tying the game at 2-all.
WHS secured a permanent lead in the third as Taylor doubled and later scored on a Kari Carney double, making it 3-2. Carney later scored from third on a stolen base to make it a 4-2 contest through three full frames.
Smith and Kassidy Chaney each provided doubles with one away and two away, respectively, in the top of the fifth, allowing SHS to whittle the gap down to 4-3.
The Lady Tornadoes had runners at first and second with one away in the sixth, but nothing came to fruition. The guests went down in order in the seventh to complete the outcome.
The hosts outhit Southern by a 7-6 overall margin in the error-free contest. Waterford also stranded only three of the eight runners left on base.
Lily Allen paced the Lady Tornadoes with two hits, followed by Smith, Chaney, Rizer and Cassidy Roderus with a safety each. Chaney and Camry Roush recorded an RBI apiece in the setback.
Chaney took the loss after surrendering four earned runs, seven hits and one walk over six innings while striking out three. Carney picked up the win after allowing three earned runs, six hits and two walks over seven frames while fanning two.
Taylor, Carney and Suprano led WHS with two hits apiece, while Lilly Franchino also provided a safety. Carney drove in the lone run for the hosts.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.