BELPRE, Ohio — A tough start to the new season.
The Eastern softball team committed some critical mistakes in the fifth and sixth frames, allowing host Belpre to score three unearned runs en route to an 8-3 setback on Monday night in the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division opener for both programs in Washington County.
The visiting Lady Eagles (0-1, 0-1 TVC Hocking) stormed out to a 2-0 advantage through two complete, but the Lady Golden Eagles (1-0, 1-0) countered in the home half of the third as Lauryn Simmons belted a three-run homer with two away in the frame — giving the Orange and Black a 3-2 cushion after three innings of play.
EHS, however, rallied with a run in the top half of the fourth to knot the game up at three-all through four complete.
Eastern mustered three hits and four baserunners over the next three frames, but ultimately never scored again.
BHS, on the other hand, got a leadoff double from Katie Osburn to start the home half of the fifth, then a pair of passed balls allowed Osburn to score what proved to be the eventual game-winning run.
Madison Harmon walked, moved to second on a passed ball and then advanced to third on an error that allowed Hannah McDaniel to reach safely.
Dalton and Hernandez followed with back-to-back walks that allowed Harmon to score, making it a 5-3 contest after five innings.
Hutchison started the sixth with a triple and Osburn reached on a walk, then an infield error allowed both to score as Simmons reached safely while taking a 7-3 edge. Simmons later scored on a sacrifice by Dalton to wrap up the 8-3 outcome.
Courtney Fitzgerald doubled to start the top of the second and later scored on a single by Kennadi Rockhold, giving Eastern an early 1-0 lead. Kelsey Casto followed with a single that plated Rockhold for a 2-0 advantage.
Trailing 3-2 headed into the fourth, Fitzgerald started the inning with a walk and later scored on a double by Rockhold — tying the game at three.
Both teams produced 10 hits in the contest, with Belpre committing only one of the three errors. The hosts also left nine runners on base, compared to the seven stranded by the Green and White.
Tessa Rockhold was the losing pitcher of record after allowing five runs (two earned), three hits and four walks over two innings of relief work while striking out one. Elaina Hensley started and went four innings, allowing three earned runs, seven hits and one walk while fanning three.
Hannah McDaniel was the winning pitcher of record after allowing three earned runs, eight hits and one walk over five frames while striking out two. Harmon worked the final two innings, allowing two hits and fanning three.
Cera Grueser led EHS with three hits, followed by Casto and Kennadi Rockhold with two safeties apiece. Ally Barber, Courtney Fitzgerald and Tessa Rockhold also had a hit each in the setback.
Fitzgerald led the guests with two runs scored, while Kennadi Rockhold drove in a team-high two RBIs.
Osburn, Simmons and Harmon paced BHS with two hits apiece, followed by Lemon, Hutchison, Hernandez and Makaylee Deaton with safety each.
Simmons drove in a game-high five RBIs and scored twice. Osburn led the hosts with three runs scored.
Eastern hosted Miller on Tuesday and returns to action Thursday when it travels to Waterford for a TVC Hocking contest at 5 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.