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Weir High bats stay on fire during Saturday sweep

STEUBENVILLE — The Weir softball team applied pressure to Steubenville all seven innings.

Weir had at least one base runner in all seven innings, and the Red Riders made the most of their opportunities en route to a 7-3 victory to spoil Big Red’s senior day in their first game of the day Saturday afternoon at the Franciscan University of Steubenville Softball Field. 

“We just talked, and we are trying to drill into their heads that we have team speed,” first-year Weir (6-6) head coach John Leary said. “If we can avoid the strikeout and we can put the ball in play, we can put pressure on their defense. When you have runners on base, you more outs and more opportunities to hit the ball, put it in play and to run the bases. You want them to make mistakes, while not making mistakes yourself.”

Weir recorded runs in three innings, but in the other innings, the Red Riders left a runner on third in the second, they left runners on second and third in the fifth and the sixth and a runner on second in the seventh.

The Red Riders led by four runs — 5-1 and 7-3 — twice in the game.

Big Red was hurt by seven walks, three errors in the field and a couple of miscues on the basepaths.

“That’s the story of the season,” Big Red (10-10) head coach Gus DiMarzio said. “We have been stressing those things on all of these rain days. We are trying to fix them, but we haven’t fixed them. We are a young team, but that is not an excuse. Excuses are for losers, and we are not losers.”

The Red Riders used two pitchers en route to the win against Big Red.

Madison Angus started, and she picked up the victory. Angus allowed three runs on five hits while striking out three without walking a batter in her four innings of work inside the circle. Chesney Tice came on to start the bottom of the fifth inning, and she pitched the rest of the way. Tice did not give up a run while allowing two hits to go along with one strikeout and no walks in her stint in the circle.

Lakyn Blackurn took the loss for Big Red. Blackburn allowed seven runs on nine hits while striking out four and walking seven.

“Weir runs the bases well,” DiMarzio said. “They steal bases. We had seven walks, and three of those walks scored. We had that error on the line drive to second, and that run scored. Four of their seven runs were unearned. I tip my hat to them. They put pressure on you. They make you make mistakes. They did not fold, we did.”

Three of Weir’s nine hits went for extra bases.

Sophia Aperfine finished with a single and two doubles, Angus helped her own cause with a pair of RBI singles and Bella Aperfine belted a solo home run. Also, Olivia Baker delivered an RBI single, Mallory Rosnick and Tice each contributed an RBI.

Two of Big Red’s seven hits were doubles.

Blackburn belted an RBI double, Tori Mitchell collected a double and Maggi Cucarese contributed two singles.

Bella Aperfine produced a run all by herself giving the Red Riders a 1-0 lead. She led off the game with a walk, stole second and moved to third when the throw to second hit her and the ball rolled into the outfield. She scored on a wild pitch on ball four to Alexis Adams giving Weir a 1-0 lead. Adams stole second, and she scored on an one-out single by Angus making the score 2-0. 

Big Red answered right back in the bottom half of the inning. Cucarese singled, and advanced to second on a throwing error. After a sacrifice bunt, Cucarese scored on a wild pitching making the score 2-1.

The Red Riders recorded three runs in the third to build their first four-run advantage of the day. 

Adams reached on an error to start the inning, stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Rosnick brought her home with a groundout to give the visitors a 3-1 lead. Angus walked, and Rylee Donaldson came in to run for her. Sophia Aperfine produced a double, and Tice scored Donaldson with a groundout to increase Weir’s advantage to 4-1. Baker brought home Sophia Aperfine with a bunt single making the score, 5-1.

Big Red cut into their deficit in the home half of the inning.

Blackburn doubled home Cucarese, who started the inning with her second inning, and Blackburn scored on a dropped flyball making the score 5-3.

Weir tacked on two more runs in the fourth.

Isabella Aperfine belted a solo home run over the fence in left field to give the Red Riders a 6-3 lead, and then Angus brought home her second run of the game on her second single to make the score 7-3.

“I am proud of our kids,” Leary said. “Gus has a quality program, and they have been a quality program for awhile. To be able to come over and come away with the win, I am pleased with the kids. In the past, we have been intimidated and rightfully so. We did the things we needed to do.

“This is Game 12 for us, and we are back even. We are 6-6. They are a really-good team. We stuck with it. We did not get down. Our pitchers pitched well. Bella Aperfine is our senior shortstop, and she plays like it. She turned that double play. She knew the out at third was more important. She knew the importance of that runner. A lot of kids would not have know. That is one of the smartest plays I have seen as a coach. It was one of the best plays I have seen this year. She made that play at a key point in the game. That was huge. They had runners on base, and she made that play. That was the turning point in the game.”

Weir turned two double plays to eliminate run-scoring opportunities for Big Red.

“Those are unnecessary mistakes,” DiMarzio said. “As a coach, you tell kids don’t do things, but they do those things, bad things happen. Coaches talk about unfortunate breaks. We made mistakes. That line drive, that is going to happen in softball. You just can’t do those things.”

Big Red has struggled as of late.

“I hope we can get out of this funk,” DiMarzio said. “We have ben trying to get out of this funk for the last six games. We were 10-4 at one point.”

SENIOR DAY

Prior to the start of the game, Big Red honored its two seniors — Marshall and Blackburn. Marshall will be attending Otterbein where she will be playing soccer and softball, while Blackburn will be attending Fairmont State.

“I want to congratulate our two seniors,” DiMarzio said. “They have done a great job. We are proud of them. They are going to go on and do great things. They are going to make Steubenville High School proud.”

BUSY DAY

After the game, Weir got on the bus and headed home to take on North Marion. The game was the second one of the day for both teams. 

After defeating Big Red, the Red Riders scored early and often against the Huskies en route to a 23-1 victory in two-and-a-half innings.

North Marion’s lone run came in the first.

Weir (7-6) scored 11 runs in the first, eight more in the second to increase their advantage to 19-1 before scoring four more in the third to account for all the scoring.

Tice picked up the win for Weir. She allowed one run on one hit, while striking out two and walking one.

The Red Riders recorded 13 hits, three of which were home runs.

Adams delivered three singles and three RBIs, Rosnick recorded a single, a home run and three RBIs and Angus added a single, a home run and two RBIs. Also, Bella Aperfine tallied a home run and two RBIs, Hoover recorded a single and two RBIs, Sophia Aperfine and Tice each collected a single and an RBI.

Weir has scored 55 runs in its last three games. 

Oak Glen 10, North Marion 1

North Marion (1-7) went 0-2 on the day.

In the Huskies’ first game, Madison McKay pitched a no-hitter as Oak Glen defeated North Marion, 10-1, in five innings Saturday afternoon at home. 

McKay struck out 14 and walked one en route to the no-hit victory.

The Golden Bears belted out 11 hits in the game, including a pair of home runs and a pair of doubles.

Sydney Brown and Olivia Munoz hit home runs in the game for Oak Glen. Brown also singled and doubled, and the shortstop produced a pair of RBIs on the day. Munoz hit her solo home run in the bottom of the second inning, while Brown’s blast came in third.

Also, McKay collected a single, a double and an RBI, Lizzie Kell tallied two singles and two RBI and Makayla Zoellers singled and had two RBIs. Finally, Sarah Brown and Alexis Holden each delivered a single.

North Marion scored a run in the first on an error to take an early 1-0 lead.

The lead did not last long.

Oak Glen responded in the home half of the inning as the hosts tallied seven runs to take a 7-1 lead. Sydney Brown, McKay, Zoellers and Kell all plated runs in the inning.

UP NEXT

North Marion: Tentatively will play Preston County at 4 p.m. Monday on the road.

Big Red: Tentatively slated to play Claymont at 5 p.m. Monday at home.

Weir High: Tentatively scheduled to play Linsly at 5:30 p.m. Monday at home.

Oak Glen: Tentatively will face Hancock County rival Madonna at 5:30 p.m. Monday at home.

Weir 7, Steubenville 3

Weir 2-0-3 2-0-0 0 — 7 9 2

Steubenville 1-0-2 0-0-0 0 — 3 7 3

WEIR (6-6): Angus (WP, 4IP, 3R, 5H, 3K, 0BB), Tice (3IP, 0R, 2H, 1K, 0BB) and S. Aperfine. B. Aperfine HR, RBI; Rosnick RBI; Angus 2S, 2RBIs; S. Aperfine S, 2D; Tice RBI; Baker S, RBI; Kaufman S; Hoover S. 

STEUBENVILLE (10-10): Blackburn (LP, 7R, 4K, 7BB) and Brown. Cucarese 2S; Marshall S; Blackburn D, RBI; Mitchell D; Bowman S; Swearengen S.

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