WHEELERSBURG — The Pirates picked up another non-league game against a good out-of-state softball squad on Wednesday —and picked up yet another victory.
That’s because host Wheelersburg erased a 3-0 first-inning deficit, and scored in every inning sans the non-consequential sixth stanza as it turned out — as the Pirates won their 21st tilt of the season in 22 tries with a 10-5 doubling up of the Raceland (Ky.) Rams inside Gene Bennett Park.
The Rams, trying to spoil Senior Night for Wheelersburg’s six seniors, scored three early runs off Andi Jo Howard —the Pirates’ freshman standout pitcher.
Actually, eight batters went to the plate in the inning, but Howard struck out the final Ram of the at-bat —and left runners aboard at second and first.
From there, she allowed just two fourth-inning Raceland runs —and retired the side 1-2-3 in the third and fifth frames, while facing four batters apiece in innings two and six.
Howard’s complete-game winning pitching line featured seven hits and a pair of walks with three strikeouts, but only the three first-inning runs were unearned.
Chloe Collins, Raceland’s standout third baseman, drove in two earned runs in the fourth for a 5-5 tie.
But Wheelersburg’s offense, as usual, countered any attack by the opposition.
The Pirates plated a run in the first, two in the second for a 3-3 tie and two in the third for a 5-3 lead —before scoring five more in their final three at-bats, which included three runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth.
Wheelersburg’s 10 runs came courtesy of a dozen hits, including two apiece by three and four-hole hitters Rylie Hughes and Macee Eaton respectively, as Eaton amounted two doubles and Hughes hit one.
Rileigh Lang, batting in the bottom spot, secured two hits as well — including a two-bagger.
Boo Sturgill clubbed an RBI-double in the second inning for the Pirates, as freshman Haley Myers mashed a solo home run in the fourth to give Wheelersburg the lead for good.
Eaton doubled in a run in the fifth, as Kiera Kennard’s sacrifice fly made it 8-5.
The game marked Senior Night for Sturgill, Hughes, Laney Eller, Jaiden Missler, Bayleigh Stevens and Payton Walker.
Wheelersburg, with its 21-1 mark and being the top-seeded squad in the entire Southeast District Division III tournament, will host Lynchburg-Clay on Friday for a sectional championship.
First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
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