CENTENARY, Ohio — Opening league play in style.
The Gallia Academy softball team started its Ohio Valley Conference campaign in grand fashion on Thursday evening in Gallia County, belting out 13 hits en route to a 5-3 victory over visiting Ironton.
Ironton went ahead 1-0 in the top of the first inning, as Kenzie Cremeans singled home Payton Rowe. In the bottom of the first Gallia Academy (3-0, 1-0 OVC) answered with Bailey Meadows driving in Hunter Copley, and Ryelee Sipple singling home Chasity Adams.
After a 1-2-3 top of the second, GAHS increased its lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the frame when Adams singled home Hailey Jo Ehman.
Back-to-back doubles by Meadows and Sipple gave Gallia Academy a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the third, but a two-run Emma Sands single in the top of the fifth trimmed the Blue Angel lead to one run, at 4-3.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, the Blue Angels gained a little breathing room as Allie Young singled home Sipple.
The Lady Fighting Tigers had a runner thrown out at the plate in the top of the sixth and left two runners in scoring position in the top of the seventh, as the Blue Angels sealed the 5-3 victory.
Copley struck out two batters and was the winning pitcher of record for GAHS, surrendering three earned runs on 10 hits and one walk.
Mary Burton suffered the setback for the guests, allowing five earned runs on 13 hits, while striking out four batters in six innings.
Sipple led the hosts at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double, a run scored and two runs batted in. Copley and Meadows both doubled once, singled once and scored once, with Meadows picking up an RBI. Adams and Alex Barnes both singled twice in the win, with Adams scoring once and driving in one run.
Young and Ehman finished with a single apiece, with Young earning an RBI an Ehman scoring a run.
For Ironton’s offense, Burton doubled once and singled once, Cremeans singled twice, scored once and drove in one run, while Sands had two singles and two RBIs. Rowe doubled once and scored twice for IHS, while Kayla Hamlet, Haylee Stevens and Kiandra Morhn contributed a single apiece to the guests’ cause.
GAHS was responsible for all-3 of the game’s errors. Ironton left nine runners on base, two more than the Blue Angels.
Following a bout with Piketon on Saturday, GAHS is scheduled to host Rock Hill on Monday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.