Bellaire girls sweep Zeps

ST. JOE – When a girls’ softball team has a dominant pitcher, it can be very successful.

It also helps when she carries a big bat.

Bellaire’s Megan Ging made her senior season debut one to remember Saturday afternoon on the sun-splashed Middle School diamond against visiting Shenandoah.

The hard-throwing 4-year veteran struck out 21, recorded five base hits and drove in four runs as the Lady Reds swept a doubleheader from the Zeps by scores of 8-3 and 6-2.

“Megan did it from both sides today,” Bellaire head coach Melissa Lahna said. “I don’t think she pitched her best in either game, but we got two wins. There’s a lot better efforts coming from her.”

In the opener, Ging dominated inside the circle, fanning 13 while walking just two. She yielded five hits. At the plate, she cracked two singles, a double and a triple to plate four teammates.

Leading 3-2, Ging launched a drive to the gap in right-center that cleared a bases-loaded situation for a three-run triple. She added a run-scoring double to right in the sixth.

Elisha Gillespie and Morgan Runyan added RBIs.

In the nightcap, Ging permitted just four hits in an 80-pitch outing to complete the sweep. She fanned eight and did walk a batter.

After being touched up for a run in the top of the first, she retired 14 consecutive Zeps until Taylor Arick opened the sixth with a double.

“She was dominant at times, but like I said, she can be better than she was today,” Lahna added.

Bellaire tied the game at one in the bottom of the second when Gillespie raced home after Messenger’s slow roller to second was misplayed.

The Lady Reds would take the lead for good in the third as Mary Garloch and Mackenzie Conroy drew back-to-back walks leading off. Senior Taylar Canter promptly laced a single up the middle to score Garloch. Gillespie walked to load the bases and, with one out, Runyan’s tapper in front of the plate was thrown away as Conroy slid in safely for a 3-1 lead.

Daphne Clark’s groundout in the fifth bumped the count to 4-1, and Gillespie’s two-run single in the sixth concluded the scoring.

“That was a big hit by Elisha because she had been struggling,” Lahna noted.

Bellaire is at Beallsville Monday for a 3 p.m. twinbill.

“I’m excited. The girls are excited,” Lahna said. “We gel well as a team. We played pretty well defensively, but we’re still young and inexperienced in some places.”

One aspect of the game she wasn’t pleased with was hitting, especially with runners in scoring position.

“I am definitely not happy with our hitting,” Lahna explained. “We left too many runners in scoring position, especially the bases loaded in the second and third innings of the second game.

“We do a lot of hitting. I expect a lot from (Mackenzie) Conroy and (Elisha) Gillespie,” she added. “Being returners, they ought to be able to hit the ball, but today they kind of let us down. They’re veterans, so they’ll bounce back.”

Canter had two of Bellaire’s six hits in the second game, both being singles. Ging had another double.

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