SOUTH WEBSTER — It was indeed a softball slugfest in South Webster on Monday, as raindrops weren’t the only thing which were falling.
So too were runs and hits.
As the visiting Wellston Golden Rockets and South Webster went at it in a non-league added encounter, between two Southeast District tournament semifinalists, the clubs combined for 31 hits —16 for South Webster with Wellston collecting 15.
In the end, the Jeeps did lead 8-5 in the top of the sixth inning —but the Golden Rockets blasted off for six runs, and eventually held on for an 11-10 triumph.
With the win, the Golden Rockets raised their record to 18-6, while the Jeeps dipped to 19-8.
South Webster was to welcome Manchester for a Division IV district semifinal on Tuesday, while Wellston was set to host Valley in a Division III semifinal on Wednesday.
The tune-up turned into a hitters’ haven, as the Jeeps committed two errors compared to the Golden Rockets’ none.
South Webster scored single runs in the opening two innings and led 2-0, but Wellston went ahead with one run in the third and four in the fourth for a 5-2 advantage.
The Jeeps twice scored three runs in the next two cantos —forging a 5-5 tie after four and staking an 8-5 edge into the sixth.
That’s when Wellston went off for its six-spot, going ahead 9-8 in the inning — when Emma Ingalls doubled in two runs on an 0-1 pitch.
For South Webster, Rylee McGraw scored four runs —and walked three times with one basehit, as Skylar Zimmerman led the way with three including a double.
Five Jeeps — Emma Bailey, Bella Claxon, Gwen Messer, Reese Hall and Lexi Smith —amounted two hits apiece, as Messer doubled twice, Hall doubled once, and Smith smacked a two-run home run in the fourth.
Bri Claxon and Ashlee Spence safetied one time apiece, as Smith drove three runs in —with two apiece from Zimmerman and Hall.
Claxon and Bailey both walked twice, as six separate Jeeps scored at least one run.
Unfortunately for South Webster, 10 runs weren’t enough on Monday.
McGraw pitched the first three innings for the Jeeps and Messer the final three, as McGraw gave up five earned runs on 10 hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Messer was charged with six runs on five hits and three walks, but none of the six runs which Wellston scored off of her in the sixth were earned.
The Golden Rockets sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning, as Sadie Henry and Madison Potts —with Potts pitching the first five frames for the guests and allowing eight earned runs on a dozen Jeep hits and a half-dozen walks — plated three hits apiece.
Jenna Johnston, Neveah Ousley and Alyssa Peterson posted two hits each, as Johnston got Wellston’s scoring started with a solo home run in the third.
In the fourth, Peterson popped a three-run shot with two outs —giving the Golden Rockets their 5-2 lead at that time.
Prior to that, Potts singled and advanced to second on a passed ball, then tied the game at 2-2 when she scored on a Makenna Kilgour RBI-double.
Henry, Ingalls and Potts posted two RBIs apiece, as Johnston drew a pair of walks and doubled in the first.
With Wellston leading 9-8, Macie Lambert landed a single —and scored on a two-run two-bagger by Potts for the 11th run.
While Wellston did strand eight runners, the Jeeps left 10 on the bags —including runners at second and third in the first and last, at first and second in the fourth, the bases loaded in the fifth, and Smith at third in the sixth.
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