ATHENS, Ohio — A dozen runs and a shutdown pitching outing stifles the Blue Angels ascension.
The Gallia Academy softball team were held to just one hit, as Sheridan utilized a dominant pitching performance — coupled with high-powered offensive production at the plate — en route to a 12-0 setback of the Blue and White in Monday’s Southeast District Division II district semifinal contest at Ohio University.
The fourth-seeded Blue Angels (18-6) surrendered five extra base hits — highlighted by a two-run home run by Melanie Clum — in the first, as the Generals (22-6) marched to a 8-0 lead by way of seven hits, two walks, one hit batter and two errors in the inning.
The Red and Gray tacked on two additional runs in the second, as Makayla Sheridan doubled and Sydney Campolo followed with a walk to led off the inning. Both later scored on a double by Ruth Shriner as SHS increased the margin to 10-0.
Sheridan furthered its advantage to 12-0 in the third, as Spencer Snider and Taylor Pagan each scored in the frame.
The Blue and White picked up their first and only hit of the contest in the fifth, as Bailey Meadows singled to start the inning. Sheridan however retired the next three Blue Angels in order to close out the 12-run victory in mercy rule fashion.
Hunter Copley suffered the loss for Gallia Academy, as she surrendered eight runs on nine hits, with two walks, while striking out one hitter in one inning of work.
Meadows provided three innings of relief, allowing four runs on six hits, while walking two hitters.
Meadows also had one hit, while Allie Young and Ryelee Sipple each drew a walk in the contest to conclude the offensive totals for GAHS.
Campolo was the winning pitcher of record, as she surrendered no runs, one hit, with two walks and nine strikeouts in five innings of work. Campolo also had one safety and scored once on the offensive side.
Snider and Makayla Sheridan led the way for SHS with three hits and and two RBI apiece, respectively.
Clum and Pagan followed with two safeties apiece, respectively. Clum also provided two RBI and a run scored, while Pagan scored twice in the contest.
Shriner, Madie Walker and Sara Cooper each finished with one hit and one run scored apiece, respectively. Cooper also added two RBI, while Shiner drove in one run.
Kaitlyn Sturgeon also had one hit to conclude the offensive totals for SHS.
The Blue Angels were responsible for all three fielding errors in the contest.
Gallia Academy stranded three runners in the game, while the Generals left six.
Following the contest, GAHS Scott Stanley spoke about his performance — particularly their determination to play hard until the end.
“We faced a great pitcher today,” said Stanley. “She was very fast and had a great rise ball. I told the girls with it being a no-hitter going into the final inning, at least try to break it up.”
Stanley also elaborated on the 2018 campaign and the experience gained by young group of players having reached a district semifinal contest.
“I think this gives a lot of momentum already for next season,” said Stanley. “We are only losing one senior. So we are bringing back nearly everyone. They had a taste of this success and experience in the postseason. Hopefully, we can build off of this next year.”
The setback served as the final contest for GAHS senior Allie Young — who Stanley also spoke of and the leadership she provided throughout the season.
“She is going to definitely be missed,” said Stanley. “She has been a staple to our team for the past three years. She’s a strong hitter. She lead the team this year and was a captain. We are going to surely miss her leadership.”
The Blue Angels conclude their 2018 season with an overall record of 18-6 and the program’s first-ever championship as members of the Ohio Valley Conference with a record of 11-3 — earning a share of the title with Coal Grove. GAHS also repeated as sectional champions for the first since the program three-peated from 2010-12.
Scott Jones can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext 2106.