WEIRTON - Toronto came back from an early six-run deficit to defeat Weir High 10-8 in a high-scoring softball game Thursday night on the Red Rider campus.
Red Knight starting pitcher Hannah Parker struggled in the first inning walking the first six batters she faced and hitting the next one. But Desiree Meadows took over, threw strikes and baffled the Weir High (4-11) hitters the rest of the way to pick up the victory.
"We hung in there," said first-year Toronto coach Kayla Mosti. "We had a strong defense and the kids brought it with the bats when we needed it and we really came around."
By the time Meadows worked out of the first inning, the Red Riders held a commanding 6-0 lead and added a seventh run in the bottom of the third inning, but after that the Red Knights came roaring back.
After scoring three runs off of Red Rider freshman starter Mariah Stevens in the top of the third inning, Toronto scored five more off of her in the top of the fourth to take the lead as 11 batters went to the plate.
"You saw the same game I did," veteran Red Rider coach Dave Hinerman said. "When you go up 7-0 you have to win that game even if you just tack one run on every once in awhile.
"I think we may have gotten complacent; then we walked some, they got some solid hits and we made several errors to let them back into the game. That's been the story of us all year.
"Last night we played one of the best teams in the OVAC (Buckeye Local) losing by a run in eight innings. But we have to find a way to win. I kept telling the girls that if we let a team like this hang around they would make catches, which they did, they're going to make plays, they're going to run and do things to disrupt you.
"And they did it and the best team won today."
Meadows allowed two runs and five hits while walking one and striking out five.
Stevens allowed seven runs on 10 hits. She walked four and struck out four. Abby Pratt, who took the loss, came on in the top of the fifth inning and gave up two runs while yielding only two hits. She walked one and struck out one.
Lexie Berger ended up scoring what wound up being the winning run as the teams went into the seven inning deadlocked at 8-8.
With one out, Berger drew a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. She scored when Emily Anderson, who had three hits to lead the Red Knights, smacked an RBI single to left field. Anderson, who went to second on the attempt to get Berger at the plate, raced home when Chelsea Anderson stroked a ball through the middle that shortstop Ashlyn Drizake stopped, but couldn't make a play.
"We've been working really hard all season long," said Mosti, whose team improved to 6-12. "We're a young team, but the girls have been working hard on hitting. We're learning how to make the adjustment from slower pitching to faster pitching, and I think we're improving with each game."
In addition to her three singles, Emily Anderson had two RBIs and three runs scored. Chelsea Anderson and Lindsey King each had two hits while Allyson Kuntz drove in two runs with a single in Toronto's big fourth inning uprising. Berger blasted an RBI double, scored twice and stole a couple of bases.
"Berger brought it tonight," said Mosti. "She made several nice plays defensively and while she got only one hit, she was on base all five times she went to the plate."
Weir High, which got only five hits, got two of them from Pratt. Stevens belted a triple and scored twice and Drizake and Elizabeth Gillette each singled.
Toronto plays next at Brooke on Monday while the Red Riders host Burgettstown today.
Toronto 10, Weir High 8
Toronto 003 500 2 - 10 11 2
Weir High 601 001 0 - 8 5 5
TORONTO (6-12): Parker (7BB, 0K); Meadows (WP, 1BB, 5K) and Kuntz. E. Anderson 3S, 2RBI, 2SB, 3R; C. Anderson 2S, R; Berger 2B, RBI, 2SB, 2R; King 2S, 2RBI, 2SB, 2R; Burkey S, R; Parker S; Kuntz S, 3RBI.
WEIR HIGH (4-11): Stevens (4BB, 4K), Pratt (LP, 5th, 1BB, 1K) and Tate. Pratt 2S, RBI, 2R; Stevens 3B, 2R; Drizake S, 3SB, R; Gillette S.