WHEELING - It just wasn't meant to be for the Martins Ferry softball team Thursday night at the J.B. Chambers I-470 Complex.
The second-seeded Purple Riders held a 4-3 lead on No. 3 Steubenville entering the top of the seventh inning. However, Big Red erupted for three runs to claim a 6-4 OVAC Class 4A semifinal contest on Ben's Field.
"You've got to give credit to Steubenville," Martins Ferry coach Paige Williams said. "They got us first and then we came back and took the lead, but they continued to battle. We couldn't come back in the seventh after they took the lead again.
"This loss hurts because the (the OVAC championship) was one of our goals. This is disappointing and I told the girls that they never want to feel this way again."
The Purple Riders took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning on a Krissy Hotlosz two-out, suicide-squeeze bunt, which scored Shaye DeLeonardis.
However, Steubenville wasn't finished. Tenia Barker singled to center leading off the seventh and an infield single by Sierra Fields and a walk to Na Banks loaded the bases. Mytia Barker's chopper to short was mishandled as a run scored and the bases remained full. Rhiannon Petrisko then lined a 0-1 pitch back up the middle to score a pair.
Steubenville plays the winner of today's other Class 4A semifinal between two-time defending champion and top-seeded Buckeye Local and Harrison Central.