Andi Jo Howard
Brock Netter

Brock Netter

Brock is SOSA's primary writer and has worked for the Coshocton Tribune, the Kankakee Daily Journal (Ill.) and the Vinton-Jackson Courier. He's a two-time award-winning journalist, a lifelong WWE fan, a suffering Bengals fan and calls the sidelines his home.

Early scoring burst helps Wheelersburg hand West first loss

The Pirates stay atop the SOC II standings with an unblemished mark.

Brock Netter, Staff Writer

WEST PORTSMOUTH — Due to rain and other complications from the weather, Wheelersburg hadn’t played an actual game for a week. 

Wheelersburg’s Lyndsay Heimbach celebrates with her teammates during the PIrates’ win over West on Thursday in SOC play.
CREDIT: Brock Netter/SOSA

However, it only took one inning for the Pirates to knock the rust off their bats. 

The Pirates (7-1, 5-0 SOC II) put up six runs in the top of the second, and later added some insurance to take home a 9-5 victory over Portsmouth West (10-1, 6-1 SOC II) on Thursday in SOC II action. 

In addition to taking over first place in the conference standings, they also handed the Senators their first loss of the season. 

“West is our biggest competition in the conference, so we came in with a strong mentality that we needed to attack on everything,” Wheelersburg’s Macee Eaton said. “We were really hungry and aggravated that we couldn’t play for a while, so this game was that much more important for us.” 

Part of Wheelersburg’s victory was Eaton’s day at the plate, where she was selective in taking pitches and made the best of whatever opportunities presented themselves. 

She finished the day 2-for-3 with two doubles and four RBIs. 

“I was just looking for something to attack, if I even get pitched to,” Eaton said. “I know what I like, but I wasn’t getting those pitches in those spots, so I just made some adjustments and looked for something close to hit.” 

With a runner on third and one out in top of the second, Lyndsay Heimbach attempted to lay down a bunt. However, as West’s infield charged in to field it, the ball popped up off the bat and went over everyone’s head for an RBI single for a 1-0 lead. 

PHOTOS: Images from Wheelersburg’s win over West

“Coach gave me the signal to bunt, so I just tried to get the ball down. It definitely didn’t go how I expected,” Heimbach said with a laugh. “But it scored a run and I got on base, so we just had to keep building from that momentum and keep it going. We knew that we couldn’t lay off, we just had to continue piling on as many runs as possible in the first two innings.” 

Three batters later with two outs and two runners on, Haley Myers ripped an RBI single which was followed by a two-run double from Eaton down the left field line that pushed the score to 4-0. 

Two batters later, it was Sydney Skiver’s turn to join in on the fun as she roped a two-run single to center field, extending the lead to 6-0. 

“I was concerned that we wouldn’t be as sharp since we hadn’t seen live pitching in a week, and our first game back is against Sydney McDermott, who is one of the best in our area,” Wheelersburg coach Teresa Ruby said. “That was huge for us to jump ahead. We had worked a lot on being aggressive and having good, positive at-bats. So I was really pleased to see that translate to the game.” 

West’s Acie Stone hit an RBI single, followed by a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the second and fourth to cut the lead to 6-2. 

However, Eaton countered in the top of the sixth with a two-run double to right-center field, and scored on the next at-bat via an RBI single from Andi Jo Howard — which effectively put the game out of reach for the evening. 

“We talk about winning each inning, not just the game and everything will take care of itself,” Ruby said. “West had two runs between the second and fifth inning, we scored three in the sixth, we’ll take that all day. It just came back down to having good, solid at-bats.” 

After Eaton, Skiver finished 1-for-4 with two RBIs, while Heimbach finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and Myers was 1-for-4 with an RBI. 

For West, Stone finished 3-for-3 with a home run, a double and three RBIs, while Abie Boland had an RBI.

Wheelersburg returns to action on Saturday at Ashland Paul Blazer (Ky.), while West plays Saturday in the Boyd County (Ky.) Tournament.


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