HARTFORD, W.Va. — So much for the defensive struggle.
The Wahama softball team managed to build a slim 2-0 cushion through two complete, but both teams combined for 18 runs in the third before the hosts ultimately reached a 15-5 mercy-rule victory over Miller on Thursday night in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup in Mason County.
The Lady White Falcons (5-2, 2-0 TVC Hocking) needed just three batters to build a 2-0 lead in the top of the first as back-to-back singles by Hannah Rose and Emma Gibbs led to a run, then Gibbs scored on an Emily VanMatre triple.
WHS, however, left the bases loaded in the bottom half of the first, then stranded a runner at third in the second while still clinging to that two-run edge.
The visiting Lady Falcons — who had only one hit through two frames — found some life in the top half of the third by sending nine batters to the plate. The end result was a five-run outburst — four of which came with two outs — on two hits, three walks and three Wahama errors en route to a 5-2 MHS advantage.
The Red and White more than responded in the home half of the third after sending 15 batters to the plate, which led to 13 runs on 10 hits, two walks, a hit batter and an error. A dozen of those scores also came with nobody out.
Autumn Baker’s second single of the inning gave the hosts a 14-5 cushion as Hannah Billups scored, then Kailyn Alison entered in for Baker as a pinch-runner.
Alexis Mick drew a walk and Alison stole third to put runners at the corners, then Deborah Miller grounded out to third base — allowing Alison to score in a walk-off fashion.
Wahama outhit the Purple and White by a 13-3 overall margin and also benefited from six MHS errors. The hosts — who committed three errors — stranded four runners on base, while the visiting Lady Falcons left five on the bags.
Rose ended up being the winning pitcher of record after giving up a single in a third of an inning of relief during the top of the third. Turkovich suffered the setback after allowing 13 earned runs, 13 hits and five walks over 2⅓ innings while fanning one.
Baker, Rose, Gibbs and Emily VanMatre led WHS with two hits apiece, followed by Billups, Maddy VanMatre, Logan Eades, Ashtyn Russell and Victoria VanMatre with a safety apiece.
Baker paced the hosts with three RBIs, while Billups, Gibbs, Emily VanMatre and Victoria VanMatre each drove in two RBIs. Billups, Russell, Rose and Maddy VanMatre also scored two times apiece in the win.
Chappalear, Perani and Youtsey had the lone hits for Miller, with Chappalear also knocking in a pair of runs.
Wahama was scheduled to play both Ripley and Ravenswood on Saturday in a doubleheader. The Lady White Falcons return to action Monday when they host Federal Hocking at 5 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.