WELLSBURG - The Buckeye Local softball team posted eight runs in the first two innings, which proved more than enough to defeat Brooke, 8-2, on Friday at the Brooke Athletic Complex.
"We were hitting better (Friday)," Buckeye Local coach Carrie Laase-Whitehead said. "That's our forte. We struggled a little bit (Thursday). I think we came out on a new page. When we have our bats on fire, we're good to go."
The Panthers opened play with a barrage of singles courtesy of Dana Bettineschi, Aliyah Morelli, Tori Nest, and Amy Balk. A Karlee Leonard walk was sandwiched between the four hits.
Buckeye Local’s Jenna Clark works to the plate during Friday’s game at Brooke High School.
Two errors by Brooke helped extend the inning. All five base runners scored by the end of the inning as Nest and Balk plated multiple runs.
"We dug ourselves a hole early," Brooke coach Mike Wagner said. "They hit the ball well in those first few innings. We simply didn't make some of the plays we are capable of making."
During the top of the second, Morelli again reached base on an error. Leonard singled. Balk then blasted a 3-run home run over the left- center field fence. The round tripper appeared to ride the wind currents and carry all the way out of the ballpark.
"She was overdue," Laase-Whitehead said. "She is a power hitter. We haven't had too many home runs this year, but it was beautiful. Soon as it left the bat, we knew. It brought us up big time."
Morelli was solid at the plate, but it was her defense, and that of the entire team, that caught the coach's eye.
"Defensively, we were very sound," Laase-Whitehead said. "We had some key defensive plays. Aliyah Morelli made some nice defensive plays out in center field to take away base hits. We had some nice plays in the infield, as well.
"We meshed together as a team and completed the game."
Despite a daunting start, Brooke never quit. It posted two runs in the fourth and seventh innings. The Bruins were led offensively by second baseman Lindsay Kurcina, who posted two singles. Clarissa Kowalczyk, Katie O'Connell, and Lauren Lehan each added a base hit.
"We had some chances offensively with baserunners in play trying to crawl back into the game, but we didn't get the timely hit when we needed it," Wagner said.
"The girls continued to fight. They did some things well, but we have to tighten up the rest of our game.
River 4, Caldwell 1
CALDWELL - Gabby Goudy tripled and singled as River moved to 10-5.
Lexy Wells and Victoria Brandon each doubled and knocked in a run for the Pilots.
Cameron 10, West Greene 0
WAYNESBURG - Tara Paczewski had another strong outing, fanning five in tossing a two-hitter for Cameron (10-3).
Lexi Benline belted three doubles and drove in six for the Dragons, who also got a double and single from Shelby Wood.
Wheeling Central 4, Union Local 3
WHEELING - Brittany Miller belted the winning hit with no outs in the seventh as Wheeling Central edged Union Local.
Miller finished with a double and single for the Maroon Knights, while Joni Zavolta, Ashley Gast and Emily Wizba also laced doubles.
Alex Brohler tripled for the Jets.
Martins Ferry 3, Barnesville 2
BARNESVILLE - A pair of infield errors allowed Martins Ferry to take an early 2-0 lead in defeating Barnesville.
Kailee Temple belted a two-run homer for the Shamrocks.
St. Clairsville 6, Barnesville 2
BARNESVILLE - Taylor Clark homered and Lauren Figura slapped two hits as St. Clairsville topped Barnesville.
Justina Campbell tripled and knocked in a run for the Shamrocks.
Monroe Central 17-8
WOODSFIELD - A plethora of Monroe Central hitters had big days as the Seminoles swept Beallsville.
Chelsie Roberts laced three hits and drove in three in the opener for Monroe Central, while Alex Kuhn and Asia Prickett each doubled, singled and plated two.
Toronto 11, Bridgeport 1
TORONTO - Kayleigh Davis had a hit and an RBI for Bridgeport, but it wasn't enough as Toronto posted a victory.
Edison 8, Harrison Central 4
CADIZ - Kristin Prokopakis, Trisha Trifonoff and Kylie Smith all had two hits each for victorious Edison.
Katie Custer and Katie Parkinson each laced two hits for the Huskies.
Steubenville 14, Weir 2
STEUBENVILLE - Steubenville's 11-run outburst in the second inning propelled it to a victory.
Mytia Barker had two singles for Big Red, while Terri Lynn Wolfe knocked in three runs.
Christina Archer, Brooke Carroll and Anna Perrino all added two RBI.
Thomas More 0-1
BETHANY - Bethany jumped into first place in the PAC by sweeping previous top team Thomas More.
Emily Jump tossed a three-hitter for the Bison (23-13 overall, 11-1 PAC) in the opener, striking out four.
The Bison scored all of its runs in the second game in the second inning. A two-run triple from Kristina Massie keyed the barrage