SHADYSIDE - Runs were at a premium here Saturday afternoon as a pair of OVAC playoff-bound softball teams squared off at the Mead Township Park District Complex.
Shadyside (9-4) won the opener 2-0 behind sophomore Megan Heagney, while Martins Ferry (12-4) rallied behind freshman Shaye DeLeonardis for a 2-1 nail-biter in the nightcap to earn the split.
"That was huge," Martins Ferry head coach Paige Williams said of the second game win. "We still didn't play very well, but hopefully this win will keep us in first in the OVAC."
SHADYSIDE’S Shelby Benedetta (8) is tagged out by Martins Ferry’s Krissy Hotlosz during the third inning of Saturday’s first game. the two teams split the doubleheader.
Heagney blanked the Class 4A Purple Riders in game one. She struck out eight, walked two and allowed four harmless singles, two of them infield hits.
"She came ready to play today. I think the day off yesterday (Friday) helped her," Shadyside head coach Jillian Ongley said about her sophomore ace. "She's been pitching every game and is a little tired and sore, but she's going to the chiropractor and getting some work."
Heagney slugged a solo home run deep to left leading off the bottom of the second for what proved to be the game-winning tally. One out later, Hayley Holenka unloaded a solo blast to left-center that landed in a lawn chair, reportedly her mother's, for a 2-0 lead.
It was Heagney's fifth roundtripper of the season. Holenka now has two.
Heagney, with help from her defense, kept Martins Ferry off the scoreboard.
The Purple Riders threatened in the third when Brooklyn Monroe walked with one out and stole second. With two outs, Addie Suriano singled to left, but Monroe was pegged at the plate on a fine throw from Samantha Rosser to end the rally.
In the sixth, Suriano beat out an infield roller leading off. She was off-and-running on the next pitch, which was bunted into foul territory. Shadyside catcher Lindsey Dunn made an outstanding diving snag and made a nice throw to first while still on the ground to double-up Suriano.
"Lindsey's a feisty little catcher," Ongley noted. "She's tough behind the plate and isn't afraid to make catches like that."
When Martins Ferry did get runners on, it couldn't move them around the bases.
"Sometimes the ball bounces your way and sometimes it doesn't," Williams allowed. "Not to take anything away from Shadyside because they played a great game, but we hit the ball, but right at them."
DeLeonardis finished with five strikeouts and no walks.
The ball seemed to bounce right in the second game for the Purple Gang.
Deadlocked at one in the fourth, a walk, single and error allowed Martins Ferry to load the bases with two outs. Kylie Stalder was hit-by-a-pitch to force in what turned out to be the game-winning run.
Cassie Hanson singled and doubled for the Purple Riders. Addie Suriano had two singles and Tyrah King an RBI.
Angelina McKeever singled twice for the Tigers. Sarah Dierkes doubled in the lone run.
DeLeonardis struck out three and didn't walk a batter for the ninth straight game. Heagney fanned four and issued a trio of walks.
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