Shadyside throttles Panthers, extends 4-game streak

RAYLAND – Something had to give Monday afternoon as a pair of softball winning streaks were on the line.

Shadyside came into the contest riding a four-game streak that included an impressive win over Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Class 2A champion Steubenville Central last Friday.

The Lady Tigers (14-6) extended that mark with a convincing, 6-2, triumph over homestanding Buckeye Local, which had claimed the OVAC Class 4A title and saw a six-game streak come to an abrupt halt.

“Hopefully we are starting to come together at the right time,” Shadyside head coach Jillian Ongley said. “These end of the season games against good teams is good for us in preparing for the upcoming sectional tournament.

“We’ve been playing great of late. The girls are playing together. We’re getting good pitching and our bats are starting to come around.”

Shadyside banged out a dozen hits – three each in the first, third, fifth and sixth innings. Every starter except one had at least one safety, with sophomore Shelby Benedetta leading the way with two singles and a triple).

Freshman Lindsey Dunn knocked in Benedetta with a first-inning single, after Benedetta had tripled down the rightfield line with one out, to make it 1-0.

Sarah Dierkes drew a bases-loaded walk in the third to bump the count to 2-0, and back-to-back, two-out singles by Dierkes and Saminda Francis made it 4-0 entering the bottom of the fifth.

“We know that everyone can hit the ball,” Ongley stressed. “It’s just a matter of when. We’ve been coming on lately though.”

Megan Heagney, who fanned a dozen, walked two and allowed six hits, helped her cause with a two-run double to the fence in deep center in the sixth as the margin grew to 6-0.

The Panthers denied Heagney the shutout as Rachel Hoagland drove in both runs with a 2-out single in the bottom of the sixth.

“For some reason we don’t play too well on Mondays,” Buckeye Local head coach Joe Soos noted. “I don’t know. It’s hard to explain, but I do know we’re a much better hitting team than we showed today, but (Megan) Heagney did a good job. She had us at bay all day.

“It’s back to the drawing board now.”

In addition to her two-run single, Hoagland singled earlier in the game. Karlee Leonard also had a pair of base raps.

Buckeye Local plays at Steubenville Wednesday. Shadyside is at Harrison Central Wednesday.

Shadyside 6, Buckeye Local 2

Shadyside 101 022 0 – 6 12 1

Buckeye Local 000 002 0 – 2 6 0

SHADYSIDE (14-6): Heagney (WP, 12K, 2BB) and Dunn; Benedetta 2S, T; Dunn 2S, rbi; Heagney S, D, 2rbi; Dierkes S, rbi; Francis S, rbi

BUCKEYE LOCAL (13-10): Starcher (LP, 4K, 3BB), Trouten (6, 3K, 0BB) and B. Zeroski; Leonard 2S; Hoagland 2S, 2rbi.