PORTSMOUTH — A pair of five-run innings, and a shutout pitching performance, helped the Wheelersburg Lady Pirates earn a 13-0 road win over Portsmouth in Friday’s non-league softball meeting.
Both teams are coming off deep runs in the 2021 Division III postseason tournament — Wheelersburg reaching the D-III state semifinals, while Portsmouth was a D-III district runner up a season ago.
The Lady Pirates got on the scoreboard in their very first at-bat — when freshman Catie Boggs hit a solo home run to center field.
A one-out double by junior Macee Eaton proceeded a two-run homer by sophomore AndiJo Howard — giving ‘Burg a 3-0 lead.
Senior catcher Brynley Preston plated a pair of runs in the first with a two-out two-RBI single.
“I like that the bats were starting to come alive. It’s the first of the year and we’ve been struggling putting hits together, situational hitting and two-out hits,” ‘Burg coach Teresa Ruby said. “They came alive today and I felt like we were making better choices with pitches to hit today.”
“You can’t take it easy on any of them, 1-through-9 in their lineup,” Portsmouth coach Kristin Bradshaw said. “Think we left some balls hanging over the plate and they took advantage of it.”
Eaton, Boggs and freshman Kaylynn Carter each had at least three hits on the day — combining for 10 of the Lady Pirates’ 17 hits.
Eaton drove in a team-best three RBI, and gave ‘Burg its final runs with a two-run homer to right field, scoring sophomore Haley Myers.
Sophomore Sydney Skiver drove in a pair of ‘Burg runs with a two-out single in the top of the second.
Howard earned the win in the circle — going five innings, allowing six hits and striking out five Lady Trojans.
“(Andi)Jo pitched well today. Her control was good, moved the ball around well,” Ruby said. “Infield made some pretty good plays today — defensively we’re going to be solid. Long as we can hit and pitch, we’re going to be alright.”
Sophomore Ayonna Carr had a team-best two hits for Portsmouth, while Emily Cheatham, Madison Perry, Olivia Ramey, and Katie Born each reached via hit.
Portsmouth (2-1) began Ohio Valley Conference play on Monday, traveling to Chesapeake — beginning a five-game in five-day stretch.
“AndiJo’s a great pitcher, it was good to have some at-bats — got two-three at-bats and you could see us making adjustments by the second time around,” Bradshaw said. “A few positives that come from playing tonight that will help us going into league play.”
Wheelersburg (4-1) hosted Eastern on Monday in SOC II play.
Wheelersburg 5 2 0 1 5 — 13 17 0
Portsmouth 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 6 0
Catie Boggs 3-4, 3R, HR, RBI
Haley Myers 1-4, R, RBI
Macee Eaton 4-4, 3R, 3RBI
AndiJo Howard 1-3, R, 2RBI
Sydney Skiver 2-3, 2RBI
Rileigh Lang 2-4, 2R
Kaylynn Carter 3-3, 2R
Lyndsay Heimbach 0-2
Jaelin Thomas 0-1, RBI
Brynley Preston 1-2, 2RBI
Emily Cheatham 1-3
Olivia Ramey 1-3
Madison Perry 1-3
Olivia Dickerson 0-2
Faith Phillips 0-2
Katie Born 1-2
Ayonna Carr 2-2
Madison Ankrom 0-2
Kyndal Kearns 0-2
AndiJo Howard (W) 5IP, 6H, 0ER, 5K (W)
Faith Phillips (P) 5IP, 17H, 13ER, 1BB (L)
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved