Blue Angels stop Spartans

By Paul Boggs -

ALBANY, Ohio — One final tune-up prior to postseason play.

The Gallia Academy High School softball squad — before Friday’s Division III sectional championship against River Valley — added Alexander as a late-season non-league tilt on Tuesday, and defeated the host Spartans by a score of 8-3.

The Blue Angels never trailed, and scored three runs in the third inning to lead 3-0 — before crossing twice more in the fourth and sixth, sandwiched around a single point in the fifth frame.

Gallia Academy amounted a 6-2 advantage after its run in the fifth, before Alexander exchanged its only other run with the Blue Angels in the bottom half.

However, freshman Alex Barnes — after a leadoff walk was issued to Kimberly Edelmann — belted a two-run home run in the sixth for the Blue and White’s largest lead of the day.

Both teams left four runners on base, committed an error apiece, and Gallia Academy outhit Alexander 12-3.

With the win, the Blue Angels captured their third consecutive contest —and raised their record to 15-7.

The Spartans, which are also a Division III club, slipped to 12-13.

The Blue Angels, between starter Hunter Copley and reliever Bailey Meadows, split their pitching duties on Tuesday —but Meadows only worked the final one and two-thirds.

Copley claimed the win in the circle, tossing the opening five and one-third, while allowing three runs on three hits with a pair of walks and five strikeouts.

She retired the side 1-2-3 in the second and fourth frames.

Gracie Hill, who went the opening five innings for Alexander, gave up six earned runs on 10 hits with a walk.

Amber Hart came in for the final two at-bats, giving up the two sixth-inning counters on two hits and two walks.

One of those was Barnes’ home run.

Meadows and Carly Shriver paced the Blue Angels with three hits apiece, including a double in the fourth for Shriver.

Barnes bagged a pair of hits, while Allie Young laced a pair of doubles.

One of those was to lead off the third, before Copley, Jenna Meadows and Bailey Meadows mustered back-to-back-to-back RBI-singles to plate Young, Copley and Jenna Meadows.

Barnes batted in three runs, including in the fourth to make it 5-2.

Jenna Meadows drew a pair of walks, and scored the single marker in the fifth when Shriver singled her home.

Edelmann added an RBI-groundout in the fourth.

Alexander’s only runner in the opening two innings was Abby Howard on a walk in the first, as the Spartans scored twice in the third to trim the deficit to 3-2 —when Nicole Hudnall singled in both Lauren Scurlock and Howard.

Scurlock reached on a walk while Howard had a single.

Alexander added its only other run in the fifth when Hailee Miller doubled with two outs, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then scored on Gallia Academy’s only error off the bat of Howard.

The Blue Angels are the second-seeded squad in the sectional, and will host seventh-seeded River Valley on Friday at 5 p.m.

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106

By Paul Boggs