COAL GROVE, Ohio — A league title quite possibly left standing at third.
The Gallia Academy softball team had the tying run in scoring position with nobody out, but host Coal Grove came up with three consecutive outs in the seventh and clinched a share of the Ohio Valley Conference championship with a hard-fought 3-2 decision on Tuesday night in Lawrence County.
The Blue Angels (16-4, 10-3 OVC) never led in the contest as the guests found themselves in an early 2-0 hole, but the Blue and White cut the lead in half in the top of the second as Malerie Stanley scored on a two-out error that allowed Bailey Young to reach safely.
The Lady Hornets (11-2 OVC), however, extended the lead back out to two in the bottom of the third as an error plated Riley en route to a 3-1 edge.
GAHS again trimmed the deficit down to one in the fifth as Bailey Young doubled and later scored on a two-base throwing error, allowing the guests to close to within 3-2.
The Red and Black stranded a runner apiece during the fifth and sixth frames, but it was still a one-run contest headed into the top of the seventh.
Allie Young started the final frame with a leadoff double, then advanced to third on a ground out by Elizabeth Eads. With one away and the top of the order headed to the plate, Young was left standing 60-feet away as the Blue Angels had a pop-up to short and a ground out to first to conclude the game.
Coal Grove took a permanent lead on a two-run homer to center by Murphy while establishing a 2-0 edge.
The Lady Hornets outhit the guests by an 8-5 overall margin, but also committed six of the nine errors in the contest. Gallia Academy stranded six runners on base, while the hosts left nine on the bags.
Murphy was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two unearned runs, five hits and a walk over seven innings while striking out six. Hunter Copley took the loss after surrendering three earned runs, eight hits and one walk over six frames while fanning six.
Alex Barnes led the Blue Angels with two hits, followed by Stanley and both Youngs with a safety apiece.
Meyer and Riley paced CGHS with two hits apiece, with Murphy, Griffith, Dillow and Malone also adding a safety each.
The Lady Hornets salvaged a season split after dropping a 6-2 decision in Centenary back on April 26.
Gallia Academy completes OVC play on Thursday when it travels to Portsmouth for a 5 p.m. contest.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.