ST. CLAIRSVILLE - It was a game that had just about everything a softball game could have, and then some things you would never dream of, St. Clairsville outscored Union Local 13-12 on Lady Red Devils Field Friday afternoon.
The two Buckeye 8 rivals evenly divided 30 base hits, which included five home runs - four over the fence and one inside-the-park. The telling stat was the Jets (3-4) committed four errors to just one for the hosts (2-2).
"It was definitely a battle of the bats today," St. Clairsville head coach Rachel Duncan advised. "I'm proud of the way my girls battled, especially on offense because we battled back every inning.
ST. CLAIRSVILLE’S Jolyn Shunk (19) heads towards the plate as Union Local catcher Kylie Cole awaits the throw. Shunk was tagged out on a bang-bang play in the Red Devils’ wild, 13-12, victory Friday afternoon. Additional images can be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
"They (Union Local) hit the ball really hard, but we came right back and hit it even harder," she continued. "I think that was one of the most important things ... that we battled back every inning."
Deadlocked at 11 in the bottom of the sixth, Bri Hummel lined a leadoff single up the middle. One out later, Lauren Figura walked. Krista Morrison ripped a single through the hole at short that scored Hummel. After both runners moved up a base on the throw to the plate, Alicia Avila lofted a sacrifice fly to left-center that chased home Figura with what proved to be the game-winner.
Union Local didn't roll over as Ali Bethel, the No. 9 hitter, drew a leadoff walk from reliever Michaela Miller to start the seventh. Olivia Minamyer also drew a base-on-balls before the first out was recorded. Shayna McGary lined a single back through the box to score Bethel and Brittany Stack reached on an infield single to load the bases.
Miller, however, got out of the jam by inducing a comebacker that turned into a game-ending 1-2-3 double play.
"Twelve runs should definitely win a ballgame," Union Local head coach Roger Herbert said. "We had been struggling at the plate, but today we hit the cover off the ball. Give them (St. Clairsville) credit because they hit the ball hard, as well."
Union Local struck for three runs in the first inning as Ali Delaney singled in two.
St. Clairsville evened things in the second when Figura launched a solo homer to deep right-center leading off. Morrison followed with a double to the fence in left-center. Summer Gallentine singled in Morrison and Miller chased home Gallentine with a base rap.
The Jets responded with a 3-spot in the third when Stack slugged a leadoff double to the fence in left-center that chased Figura from the circle. Delaney took the second pitch she saw deep to right-center for a 2-run homer. One out later, Kaylie Cole slugged a solo shot over the fence in right-center.
St. Clairsville took the lead in the fourth when it scored four times. Gallentine reached on a 1-out error and Brianna Sowers singled to left. The throw to third skipped away and went out of play, allowing Gallentine to score. Sowers took second on the throw. Miller singled to end Bethel's outing on the mound as Minamyer came on. She struck out the first batter she faced, but then walked Hummel to load the bases. Jolyn Shunk's fly ball to deep center resulted in a bases-clearing triple. She was nailed at the plate on a fine relay throw, but the hosts led, 7-6.
A 4-run fifth made it 11-6 in favor of the Red Devils as they played a little long ball in taking the advantage. Figura and Morrison led off with back-to-back singles, and each moved up a bases when Morrison's hit was kicked around in the outfield. Avila then launched a fly ball to right-center that saw the two Union Local outfielders collide as the ball rolled away. Figura and Morrison scored easily, but Avila hustled all the way for an inside-the-park homer run. On the very next offering, Gallentine smacked a shot over the fence in left that hit off the top of a car.
"I am pretty disappointed with my outfield," a disgusted Herbert noted. "We kicked the ball four or five times and that collision really turned the game around because they scored four runs after that."
Not to be outdone, the Jets pushed across five runs in the top of the sixth when they sent 10 batters to the plate.
Maddie Schafer and Bethel smacked back-to-back leadoff singles. Minamyer sent a drive to right-center that skipped off the glove of rightfielder Sowers, but went right in the glove of centerfielder Carlee Gillespie who was backing up. Cori Medley drove in a run with a single to left and McGary collected an RBI with a bloop hit to right. Stack walked before Delaney bounced into a fielder's choice for the second out. Megan Stull walked with the bases loaded to force in the third run of the frame, and Cole picked up two ribbies with a single to right to tie the game at 11.
McGary and Stack each had three hits for Union Local. Delaney, Cole and Butler had two each. Delaney finished with four RBI. Cole had three.
Leading St. Clairsville was Figura and Morrison with three safeties each. Avila, Gallentine and Miller all had two hits each. Avila had four runs batted in. Shunk had three.
Miller picked up the mound win. Minamyer suffered the loss.
Union Local visits Byesville today for a twinbill with Meadowbrook. St. Clairsville heads to New Martinsville for a noon DH with Magnolia.
Union Local 303 005 1 - 12 15 4
St. Clairsville 030 442 x - 13 15 1
Batteries: Bethel Minamyer (4), and Cole. Figura, Miller (3) and Shunk
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