CENTENARY, Ohio — A three-run third inning ultimately gave the Gallia Academy softball team all the offense it needed Thursday night during a 3-2 victory over visiting Fairland in a non-conference matchup in Gallia County.
The Blue Angels (5-3) snapped a three-game losing skid with the decision, but the previously-unbeaten Lady Dragons (7-1) did not make things easy for the hosts. Both teams had four hits and were issued two walks apiece, and each squad also committed three errors in the contest.
The difference in the scoring, however, came in the bottom of the third frame, as the hosts produced two hits and also benefited from two errors and a walk. Kendra Barnes reached safely on a walk, then Mattie Lanham singled and Barnes advanced to third on an error — giving GAHS runners on the corners with nobody out.
Heather Ward sacrificed Barnes home for a 1-0 edge, then Rachel Morris sacrificed Lanham home for a 2-0 cushion. Maggie Westfall reached safely on the second FHS error, then Violet Pelfrey tripled home Westfall for a 3-0 advantage through three complete.
The score remained that way until the top of the sixth, as Fairland produced three hits and two runs to pull within one at 3-2. Chelsea Stanley led the frame off with a single, then Mackenzie Riley delivered a one-out double that plated Stanley for a 3-1 game. Haley Woodall followed with a two-out triple that plated Riley for a 3-2 deficit.
Caitlin Stone reached safely on an error with two outs in the seventh, but that potential tying run never left first base. Ward induced Stanley to ground out, which wrapped up the one-run triumph.
Ward went seven innings for the winning decision, allowing two earned runs, four hits and two walks while striking out six. Chandler Fulks surrendered two earned runs, four hits and two walks over six frames while fanning nine.
Lanham led the Angels with two hits, followed by Pelfrey and Chelsy Slone with one safety apiece. Stanley, Riley, Woodall and Kerie Napier each had a hit for the guests.