STEWART, Ohio — Throw the regular season results out, it’s tournament time.
The Southern softball — which defeated Federal Hocking by counts of 8-5 and 10-5 in Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division play this spring — were eliminated from the postseason by FHHS, as the eighth-seeded Lady Lancers topped the ninth-seeded Lady Tornadoes by a 15-5 tally on Monday in Athens County.
Southern (6-16) fell behind by eight runs, as Federal Hocking scored five in the first inning and three more in the second.
The Lady Tornadoes began battling back in the third inning, as Ella Cooper singled home Cassidy Roderus. Abby Cummins singled home Ally Shuler in the following inning, cutting Federal Hocking’s lead to 8-2.
An RBI single by Shuler and a two-run double by Cummins in the top of the fifth brought the Purple and Gold within three runs, but Federal Hocking scored once in the fifth and six times in the sixth to cap off the 15-5 mercy rule victory.
Cummins took the pitching loss in a complete game for the guests, allowing 15 runs, eight earned, on 15 hits and three walks, while striking out two.
Wilkes was the winning pitcher of record in a complete game for FHHS, striking out four batters, while giving up five runs, four earned, on seven hits and a walk.
Southern’s offense was led by Cummins, who was 2-for-3 with a double and three runs batted in, and Shuler, who was 2-for-2 with a double, two runs scored and one RBI. Cooper and Kassie Barton both singled once and scored once, with Cooper also earning an RBI. Avery King contributed a single to the Lady Tornado cause, while Roderus scored a run.
Leading the Lady Lancer offense, Gould was 3-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and one run batted in, and Walker was 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Wilson was 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs in the win, Martin was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, while Brooks singled twice and scored a game-best three runs.
Southern committed six errors and left three runners on base, while Federal Hocking ended with two errors and eight runners stranded.
This marks the final game in the Purple and Gold for Southern seniors Baylee Grueser, Kayla Boyer and Abby Cummins.
The Lady Lancers move on to face top-seeded Waterford in the sectional final on Thursday in Washington County.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.