WAVERLY — Before what Wheelersburg’s softball squad desires is another Division III “Final Four” bid, there was first its conquest for the “Sweet Sixteen” of the Southern Ohio Conference Division II.
That the Pirates met, faced and finally conquered on Friday —shutting out the host Waverly Tigers 11-0 in an SOC II makeup matchup.
With Wheelersburg’s win, the Pirates’ perfect streak of SOC II victories now spans an amazing eight undefeated seasons —dating back to Teresa Ruby’s first spring as head coach, which was 2014.
The Pirates played 14 league games from 2014 thru 2019, won all 15 league bouts in 2021 with one game not played, and now complete the 16-game gauntlet this season.
Only runner-up West, and third-place South Webster, were within three runs of the Pirates all year in the league —including South Webster with losses of 6-5 in nine innings in Wheelersburg’s season opener, and 3-1 in the rematch.
The Pirates’ win streak in the SOC II stands at, at least, 115.
Against the Tigers, as the contest was called following the fifth inning with the 10-run mercy rule — the Pirates posted two runs apiece in innings two and three, single markers apiece in stanzas two and four, and finally five points in the fifth frame.
Catie Boggs, on the opening at-bat of the game, gave the Pirates all the runs they needed for the win —with a solo home run.
In fact, Boggs batted successfully for the cycle —going a perfect 4-for-4 with her home run in the first, a triple in the second, a double in the third, and finally a two-run single in the fifth.
The Pirates, indeed, batted around in that inning.
She also scored four runs from her leadoff spot, as Haley Myers and AndiJo Howard had three hits apiece —including a first-inning triple and an RBI-double by Myers.
Myers also drove in a run with her second-stanza single.
Other Wheelersburg basehits included a Rileigh Lang fifth-inning triple, a Lyndsay Heimbach third-inning RBI-double, and fifth-inning singles by Kiera Kennard and Laken Wright.
Wright’s went for a run batted in as well.
In the pitching circle, Howard had a no-hitter —as she faced 18 Tigers while striking out eight, and retiring Waverly’s order 1-2-3 in the second and fourth.
Two Tigers reached on errors in the third and fifth frames, but neither reached scoring position.
Neither did Waverly senior Suzy Wall, who was hit by a Howard pitch with two outs in the opening inning.
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