WEST PORTSMOUTH — The Notre Dame Lady Titans earned a hard fought victory over the Portsmouth West Senators Tuesday evening at the Portsmouth West Softball field. The battle between the SOC I and II teams was fierce as both squads played with determination.
The Lady Titans and the Lady Senators both started the game with a lot of energy, as each team scored in the opening inning, but in the end, it was Notre Dame’s night. The Lady Senators came up a couple runs shy Tuesday night, losing to the Lady Titans, 6-4.
“We came out in the first inning and put a few runs up, and then they came right back,” Notre Dame softball coach JD Whitman said. “I told the girls before we even came here, they’re going to have to play to beat this team. Any time you come out to the west side, the history and everything else they have out here, you have to come out to play.”
Notre Dame got off to a quick start, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. Molly Hoover, Baylee Webb, and Maggie Whitman all scored for the Lady Titans. Whitman’s squad took advantage of getting the first three batters on base, which led to the big inning.
West would respond however, adding a pair of runs in their half of the first inning.
Kayleigh Coleman and Hannah Mayberry each scored for West, cutting the Notre Dame lead to a single run 3-2 after the end of the first inning.
The Lady Senators tied the game 3-3 in the second inning. Taylor Coleman reached on a single, and then advanced on to third base after Madison Cochran also came up with a base hit. Coleman would score the game-tying run after Hayleigh Throckmorton drove her in with a base hit.
“We kind of went to sleep there a couple of innings and they tied it up,” Whitman said. “Our bats then came back alive, our defense tightened up and pitching got better.”
West took their first and only lead of the game in the bottom of the third inning after Terra Butcher reached on an error, and then scored from first base after a Makayla White single.
After three innings, the Lady Senators held a 4-3 lead over the Lady Titans.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Lady Titans took the lead back from the Lady Senators, as they scored two runs. Rylee Coriell showed great attention to the game when she noticed Taylor Coleman’s strike-three pitch went by the catcher, and took off for first base, where she landed safely.
That attention to detail would come up big for Notre Dame as Coriell and Hoover would both score thanks to a two RBI single by Makayla Hadsell in the fourth.
After the extra out in the top of the fourth inning, Notre Dame had taken a 5-4 lead over West.
Once Notre Dame reclaimed the lead, Maggie Whitman’s pitching and the rest of the Lady Titans defense choked the pop out of West’s bats.
West was put out in order in two of the four remaining innings, and only produced two base-runners, when Taylor Coleman was walked in the bottom of the fourth inning, and as Terra Butcher reached safely on a single in the fifth.
The Lady Titans gained an insurance run in the sixth inning after Maggie Whitman crossed the plate from a Caitlyn Ball single. Notre Dame led West by two runs, 6-4, going into the bottom half of the seventh and final inning, before eventually closing out the game to earn the victory.
“You’ve got to have tough defense, good pitching and timely hitting, and that’s what we did to win this ballgame,” Whitman said.
Although they had a good start offensively, the Lady Senators just couldn’t overcome their late inning deficit.
“We had solid play today, but our offense is not executing the plays,” West softball coach Dani Coleman said. “We’re putting the ball in play, but it’s just not catching gaps.”
The Lady Senators will be back in action on Monday evening as they host their SOC II foe, the Wheelersburg Lady Pirates. Game time is set for a 5:00 p.m. start.
Notre Dame will face a conference opponent as well, when they play host to the Western Lady Indians Thursday evening. First pitch has been slated for a 5:00 p.m. toss.
West – Throckmorton 2-4, K. Coleman 0-4 (R), Mayberry 0-3 (R), Butcher 1-2 (R), White 1-3, T. Coleman 1-2 (R, BB), Cochran 1-3
Notre Dame – Hoover 4-5 (2 R, RBI), Webb 0-3 (R, Sac, HBP), Whitman 1-4 (2 R), Hadsell 2-3 (2 RBI, 2B, HBP), Schaefer 1-4, Ball 1-3 (BB), Noel 1-4, Coriell 1-4 (R)
W – Whitman 7.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 K
L – T. Coleman 7.0 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 3 K
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.