ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — It was almost like two games in one.
The Alexander softball team outscored Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division host Meigs 9-4 through the first three innings of play, Monday night at dreams field. Defense dominated the remainder of the game, however, as neither team scored in the next four innings and AHS held on for the 9-4 victory.
The Lady Spartans (7-1, 4-0 TVC Ohio) — who have now won 18 straight league decisions — wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, as Meghan Trout doubled home Kendall Meeks in the top of the first inning. AHS added two more runs in the top of the first, when Hunter Markins doubled home Trout and Hannah Howery.
Alexander added four runs to its lead in the top of the second frame, combining three doubles with four free passes.
Trailing 7-0, Meigs (7-2, 3-1) got on the board for the first time with two outs in the bottom of the second inning, when Devyn Oliver singled home Peyton Rowe and Morgan Lodwick. Bre Colburn came around to score out of a first-and-third double steal, then Taylor Swartz drove in Oliver to cut the deficit to 7-4.
Alexander gained a little bit of insurance in the top of the third frame, when Howery doubled home Meeks, and later scored. Still, the Lady Spartans left the bases loaded for the second straight frame.
Meigs had at least one runner reach base in each of the last five innings, but the Lady Spartans never allowed more than one hit in an inning during that span, and AHS took the 9-4 win.
Meeks was the winning pitcher of record, allowing four runs on 10 hits and two walks, while striking out two in a complete game effort.
Maddison Woodyard suffered the setback in the circle for Meigs, allowing seven runs on six hits and three walks in 1.2 innings. Alliyah Pullins pitched 1.1 innings and allowed two runs on two hits and five free passes, while Lodwick surrendered just two hits and one free pass in four shutout innings.
“We gave up too much early,” second-year MHS head coach Bryan Swann said. “I probably should have made a (pitching) change sooner. We seemed to settle down, but we had gotten behind too much.”
Meigs was led at the plate by Oliver, who went 2-for-4 with two singles, one run scored and two RBI, and Swartz, who went 2-for-4 with two singles and one RBI. Lodwick and Rowe were both 1-for-3 with one single and one run scored, while Pullins was 1-for-3 with a double.
Sadie Fox, Danielle Morris and Katie Gilkey each singled once in the setback, while Colburn scored one run for the Maroon and Gold.
“I was really happy with how we made contact,” Swann said. “We only struck out twice and we hit the ball hard, but we hit it right at them. It seemed like when (Alexander) hit the ball, they found gaps, and that’s the difference in the game.”
Howery led the Lady Spartan offense, going 3-for-5 with one double, two singles, three runs scored and two RBI. Trout doubled once, singled once, scored twice and drove in one run, while Abby Howard added two singles. Hudnall doubled once and scored once in four at-bats, while Markins and Shyla Johnson both singled once and drove in two runs. Meeks scored three times in the win, while Amber Hart had one RBI for the defending league champs.
“We probably pitched around Meeks and Howery a little too much,” Swann said. “Hind-sight is 20-20 and it’s easy to say that now, but if we pitched to them, you don’t know what’s going to happen. The rest of their team stepped up and made hits when they needed to.”
AHS left 12 runners on base in the triumph, while Meigs stranded six. Both defenses committed two errors in the game.
The Lady Marauders will look for redemption on April 29, when these teams clash in Albany.
Meigs continues TVC Ohio play on Wednesday, when current unbeaten Wellston hosts the Maroon and Gold.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.
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