OAK HILL, Ohio — Finally off and running.
The Gallia Academy softball team had to wait a week for its season opener, but the Blue Angels made the most of that long-awaited start after posting wins of 9-7 and 14-8 in a non-conference doubleheader against host Oak Hill on Saturday in Jackson County.
The Blue Angels (2-0) trailed 3-2 after an inning of play, but the guests erupted for six consecutive runs over the next two frames en route to a permanent lead of 8-3.
The Lady Oaks rallied with a grand slam from Hughes in the bottom of the fourth to close the deficit down to 8-7, but the Blue and White added an insurance run in the seventh to wrap up the two-run outcome.
GAHS produced five runs on six hits in the top of the second, with Hunter Copley driving in both Aubry Unroe and Alex Barnes while giving the guests a permanent cushion at 5-3. The Blue Angels tacked on two more scores in the second, then Ryelee Sipple led of the third with a solo homer for an 8-3 advantage.
Bailey Meadows scored on an error in the seventh that ultimately completed the two-run outcome.
The Blue Angels outhit OHHS by a 14-7 overall margin, but committed four of the five errors in the contest. Oak Hill stranded nine runners on base, while the guests left five on the bags.
Copley was the winning pitcher of record after allowing four earned runs, seven hits and six walks over seven innings while striking out six. Adkins took the loss for the Lady Oaks after surrendering eight earned runs and 14 hits over seven frames while fanning three.
Meadows led GAHS with three hits, followed by Copley, Sipple, Chasity Adams and Allie Young with two safeties apiece. Barnes, Unroe and Malerie Stanley also had a hit apiece in the opening game triumph.
Copley, Young and Meadows each drove in two RBIs, while Copley and Sipple led the guests with two runs scored apiece.
Adkins paced Oak Hill with two hits and Hughes drove in a game-high four RBIs. Hughes and Lewis also scored twice apiece in the setback.
Sipple provided the eventual game-winning RBI in the finale as her two-out single in the second brought home Meadows for a 1-0 cushion.
The Blue Angels tacked on three runs in the third thanks to a bases-clearing double with two away, then added another three runs in the fourth to establish a commanding 7-0 cushion.
The Lady Oaks rallied to score six of the next seven runs in the game while closing to within 7-6 through six complete, but Meadows started the seventh with a solo homer — sparking a six-run inning that gave GAHS a 14-6 edge.
The Red and Black added two runs in the bottom half of the seventh before ultimately running out of outs, allowing the Blue Angels to wrap up the twin-bill sweep.
Gallia Academy outhit the hosts by an 18-14 overall margin and also committed three of the four errors in the contest. GAHS left five runners on base, while the Lady Oaks stranded six on the bags.
Meadows was the winning pitcher of record after allowing six earned runs, 14 hits and two walks over seven innings while striking out seven. Burnett took the loss after surrendering 10 earned runs, 18 hits and one walk over seven frames while fanning five.
Meadows and Sipple paced the guests with four hits apiece, followed by Unroe with three hits. Stanley and Hailey Jo Ehman were next with two safeties each, while Barnes, Copley and Adams added a hit apiece.
Meadows led GAHS with four RBIs, while Sipple and Unroe each scored three times in the victory.
Adkins — who hit a two-run homer in the sixth — paced Oak Hill with three hits and four RBIs. Adkins and Hughes also scored two runs apiece in the setback.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.