MERCERVILLE, Ohio — Finally. Two in a row.
The Southern softball team earned its first winning streak of the season in convincing fashion Tuesday night following a 17-2 victory over host South Gallia in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup in Gallia County.
The Lady Tornadoes (4-4, 4-2 TVC Hocking) led only 1-0 through an inning of play, but the guests ultimately plated the first 17 runs of the game en route to a sizable 17-0 cushion midway through the third.
The Lady Rebels (0-7, 0-5) countered with two runs in their half of the third to close to within 15 runs, but inclement weather followed shortly thereafter and the game ended up being called. Both coaches also agreed that the game was over and is official, therefore the final two innings will not be made up.
Jaiden Roberts led the game off with a single, stole second and third and eventually came home with what would be the game-winning run as Lauren Lavender grounded out — giving the Purple and Gold a 1-0 advantage through one frame.
SHS sent 13 batters to the plate in the second, which yielded eight runs on four hits, four walks, a hit batter and an error — making it a 9-0 contest after two complete.
The guests sent 14 more batters to the plate in the third, which led to eight runs on six walks, two hits and two hit batters en route to a 17-0 edge midway through the third.
Keirsten Howell started the home half of the third with a one-out single and advanced to third on a two-out single by Olivia Hornsby. Mandy Swords walked to load the bases, then both Howell and Hornsby scored on an error that allowed Madison Lucas to reach safely for a 17-2 contest.
Southern outhit the hosts by a 7-2 overall margin and both teams committed one error apiece in the game. SGHS stranded only two runners on base, while the guests left five on the bags.
Sydney Cleland was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two unearned runs, two hits and a walk over three innings while striking out three. Sydney St. Clair took the loss after surrendering 14 runs (12 earned), six hits and six walks over 2.1 frames while fanning one.
Roberts and Sydney Cleland led Southern with two hits apiece, followed by Lavender, Shelbi Dailey and Josie Cundiff with a safety each.
Roberts drove in a team-high four RBIs and Sydney Cleland knocked in three RBIs. Lavender, Sierra Cleland and Kati Barton each drove in two runs, while Dailey, Cundiff and Kassie Barton also plated a run apiece.
Roberts led SHS with three runs scored, followed by Lavender, Dailey, Cundiff, both Bartons and Sydney Cleland with two runs scored each. Sierra Cleland and Paige VanMeter also scored a run apiece in the triumph.
Hornsby and Howell each had a hit and scored a run for the Lady Rebels.
The Lady Tornadoes also posted a season sweep of South Gallia after claiming a 25-2 decision at Star Mill Paark back on March 29.
Southern has a home-and-home series with Wahama on Wednesday and Thursday. South Gallia hosts Eastern in a doubleheader on Thursday.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.