Pirates sweep Jeeps in SOC II


Staff report



Wheelersburg senior Lyndsay Heimbach (11) fires in a throw from left field during a recent Pirates’ Southern Ohio Conference Division II softball bout.

Wheelersburg senior Lyndsay Heimbach (11) fires in a throw from left field during a recent Pirates’ Southern Ohio Conference Division II softball bout.


File photo courtesy of Terry Stevenson of www.burgsports.com

WHEELERSBURG — The South Webster Jeeps, twice in 2022, simply made Wheelersburg work for its Southern Ohio Conference Division II softball victories.

But, in the end, the Pirates prevailed both times — and thus remain, in a familiar perch, with the Jolly Roger right now flying high atop the larger-school SOC II standings.

That’s because Wheelersburg won over visiting South Webster on Wednesday to complete the season sweep —winning 3-1 at Gene Bennett Park in Wheelersburg with single scored runs in the first, third and finally sixth inning.

The Jeeps, which in the first meeting with the six-time defending division champion and powerhouse Pirates led from following the opening inning onward until their final at-bat in the ninth, just got one counter this time —by Bri Claxon on a Bella Claxon RBI-single in the third.

That first outcome, in which Wheelersburg’s Sydney Skiver’s two-run home run in the seventh stanza forced extra innings and in which Macee Eaton’s solo shot in the ninth put the Pirates ahead, resulted in an epic 6-5 Wheelersburg win —in its season opener on March 30.

This time, Pirate sophomore pitcher AndiJo Howard had a much better circle outing — and had her stuff going —seeing the Jeeps three times through, and only allowing the earned run on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.

In fact, she retired the Jeeps 1-2-3 in innings four, five and seven —allowing a Bella Claxon one-out single in the fourth for the only South Webster baserunner beyond its point-scoring third.

Howard had a good start as well, stranding Skylar Zimmerman at third after her first-inning double —and Makayla Raynard at first following her second-inning two-out single.

With one out in the third, and with Wheelersburg leading 2-0, the Jeeps got on the board —when the speedster Bri Claxon singled and stole second base, and scored three batters later on a two-out single by her sister Bella.

But Bella Claxon was left stranded at first, along with Lauren Kaltenbach who singled before her at second — when Howard induced Ashley Spence to hit into a fielder’s choice.

Howard had complete control from there, which included five of her seven strikeouts.

With the win, the Pirates raised their Jolly Roger — and league-leading — record to a perfect 6-0, part of a total 10-1.

The loss left the Jeeps, which got another good pitching performance against the Pirates from senior Rylee McGraw, at 8-5 —and now 5-4 in the SOC II.

South Webster’s league losses are twice to the Pirates, and once to current second-place West and third-place Valley.

The Pirates, like they did in the opening meeting at South Webster, scored first on Wednesday —when Catie Boggs belted a leadoff triple, and scored on an RBI-groundout by Haley Myers on the next at-bat.

In the third, Lyndsay Heimbach singled to lead off, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brynley Preston, went to third on a Myers two-out single, and then raced home on a wild pitch.

From there until the sixth, the only other baserunners McGraw allowed were an Eaton single in the third — and a Skiver single in the fourth.

Howard helped her cause with a one-out single in the sixth, as Skiver then drew McGraw’s only walk —before Howard was erased when Rileigh Lang hit into a 1-5 fielder’s choice.

On Lang’s at-bat, Jaelin Thomas —Skiver’s pinch-runner —reached second, then scored on a clutch two-out RBI-single by Kaylynn Carter.

That made it 3-1, as the Pirates struck out only once against McGraw.

The Pirates, on Thursday, followed up that South Webster win with an 8-2 triumph in an SOC II makeup matchup at Northwest.

They next play at Eastern on Monday, while South Webster was back in action on Friday at Valley.

Both are SOC II tilts.

Wheelersburg senior Lyndsay Heimbach (11) fires in a throw from left field during a recent Pirates’ Southern Ohio Conference Division II softball bout.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/04/web1_Heimbach-SW-Burg-.jpgWheelersburg senior Lyndsay Heimbach (11) fires in a throw from left field during a recent Pirates’ Southern Ohio Conference Division II softball bout. File photo courtesy of Terry Stevenson of www.burgsports.com

Staff report

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved