Golden Eagles hurt by errors in loss

BELPRE – A trio of errors Tuesday at Civitan Park spelled doom for the Belpre softball team during its season-opening 3-2 Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division setback to Trimble.

Head coach Stephanie Evans’ Golden Eagles were supposed to open play Monday at Southern, but couldn’t due to poor field conditions.

The Tomcats were held in check by Belpre starter Katie Osburn, who worked 5 1-3 innings but didn’t factor in the decision. Osburn allowed four hits, one earned run and recorded nine strikeouts against two walks.

Belpre, which welcomes Miller to town for an 11 a.m. Saturday twinbill, got on the scoreboard first. In the home half of the first, leadoff hitter Olivia Shutts drew a free pass from Nikki Kish, went to second on a wild pitch and scurried to third on a groundout by Lauryn Simmons. Osburn, who had two of Belpre’s three hits, then had a run-scoring single to right. Despite a steal of second, Kish got out of the jam without further harm after inducing a soft lineout from Madison Harman and a groundout by Bri Elkins.

The visitors appeared to have something going in the top of the second after Alyssa Turley singled and Taya Lackey walked.

Trimble had runners on second and third following a wild pitch, but Osburn proceeded to fan the Tomcats’ 7-8-9 hitters to end the threat.

In what should’ve been a 1-2-3 fifth inning, Trimble No. 2 hitter Emily Ward reached with two outs thanks to a Belpre infield error. Kish, who went the distance allowing two earned runs with three walks and eight punchouts on 105 pitches, helped her own cause when she laced an 0-1 offering to left for an RBI double to even the contest.

The Golden Eagles responded in the home half of the fifth with a run of their own to go ahead 2-1. Simmons reached on a passed ball after striking out and scored the go-ahead run on Osburn’s RBI double to right. Although Harman followed with a single to right, Osburn was thrown out at the plate.

Turley tied the game in the top of the sixth when she took Osburn’s 1-0 offering to left-center for a solo home run. After retiring Lackey, Osburn was lifted following her 90th pitch in favor of Harman, who ended the sixth with consecutive strikeouts.

Kish retired the Golden Eagles in order during the sixth and seventh frames. However, the Tomcats managed the winning run in the top of the seventh when leadoff hitter Kaitlin Spears reached on a three-base throwing error and scored when Ward got on base following a dropped fly in the outfield.

Trimble will look for a 2-0 start to the campaign when it plays host at 5 p.m. today to Waterford.