HARTFORD, W.Va. — Better late than never.
The Wahama softball team overcame an early 2-1 deficit with a run in each of the final two at-bats Monday night while rallying for a 3-2 victory over visiting Belpre in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division contest in Mason County.
The Lady Falcons (12-8, 6-2 TVC Hocking) found themselves in a 2-0 hole after a half-inning of play as Madison Harman tripled in both Katie Osburn and Bri Elkins, but the hosts answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the first as Hannah Billups singled in Hannah Rose to cut the deficit in half one inning into the affair.
The score, however, stayed that way due to a defensive battle until the bottom of the fifth as small ball took over the outcome of the game.
Cynthia Hendrick started things for WHS by reaching safely on a leadoff error that ultimately allowed Hendrick to get to second base. Amara Helton followed with a sacrifice bunt that advanced Hendrick to third, then Hendrick scored on a two-out error that allowed Billups to reach safely while tying the game at two.
Then in the bottom of the sixth, Maddy VanMatre started the inning with a leadoff double and came home with the eventual game-winning run two batters later when Emily VanMatre singled to center while giving Wahama its first lead of the game.
The Lady Golden Eagles (8-7, 5-3) went down in order in the seventh and had their final eight batters retired in order, allowing the Red and White to complete the comeback while also picking up a season sweep. The Lady Falcons also posted an 11-5 decision at BHS back on March 30.
Wahama outhit the guests by a slim 6-5 overall margin and also played an error-free contest, while the Orange and Black committed three errors in the setback. WHS left five runners on base and Belpre stranded three on the bags.
Taylor McGrew was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two earned runs, five hits and one walk over seven innings while striking out seven. Harman suffered the loss after surrendering two earned runs and six hits over six frames while fanning three.
Emily VanMatre led the hosts with two hits, followed by Rose, Billups, Maddy VanMatre and Ashtyn Russell with a safety apiece. Billups and Emily VanMatre also accounted for the Lady Falcons’ lone RBIs.
Osburn and Harman paced Belpre with two hits apiece, while Sydney Hall also had a safety in the setback. Harman also drove in two RBIs for the Lady Golden Eagles, who have now dropped five straight decisions.
Wahama returns to action Tuesday when it travels to Trimble for a TVC Hocking doubleheader starting at 4 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.