SHADYSIDE - Timing is everything. No better proof than Tuesday afternoon's Buckeye Local-Shadyside softball tilt in Tigertown.
Shut out on but one hit through five innings, coach Jillian Ongley's Orange scratched out two sixth- inning tallies, good for a 2-1 victory under sunny skies.
"Whatever it takes," Ongley smiled as her Lady Tigers won for a second time in as many starts. "Our girls hung in there and found a way to win it."
AND THE PITCH — Buckeye Local pitcher Ivy Starcher delivers a pitch during the Panthers 2-1 loss at Shadyside Tuesday.
-- Mike Palmer
Though outhitting the hosts, 5-2, coach Joe Soos' Panthers were hard-luck losers in dropping to 2-2. "We had chances to build on a lead and couldn't cash in on our opportunities," lamented Soos, whose team stranded seven baserunners.
"That's what happens sometime when you let a team hang around."
Tuesday's encounter was a battle of two outstanding young pitchers - Shadyside freshman Meagan Heagney and Buckeye sophomore Ivy Starcher.
Heagney recorded 12 strikeouts en route to spinning a complete game five-hitter. She's now totaled 20 Ks in her first two varsity starts.
"Meagan's all softball. She's very confident for such a young player her age," Ongley added. "I thought we made some nice plays in the field behind her."
Buckeye scored its only run in the top of the third when junior Taryn Tonkovich reached on an error and raced home when shortstop Dana Bettineschi clubbed an opposite field triple just inside the foul line in right field.
In both the fifth and sixth frames, the Lady Panthers threatened with two baserunners before Heagney recorded inning-ending outs.
Shadyside mounted its game-winning rally when shortstop Karli Bonar grounded a leadoff single to left field.
Freshman Shelby Benedetta induced a walk. Bonar and Benedetta advanced via a wild pitch before Starcher registered a strikeout.
First baseman Haley Holenka then hit a ground ball to Bettineschi whose relay to the plate was not in time to nail a sliding Bonar.
When Buckeye catcher Jessi Faulkner made a play on Benedetta at third, the ball got away and the Tigers' freshman alertly raced home with what proved the game winner.
Heagney returned to record a 1-2-3 top of the seventh and the Orange had prevailed.
"You're going to win and lose some games like this," Soos theorized.
"Today, this one just didn't go our way, though we played well enough to win."
Despite permitting but two singles, Starcher absorbed the loss. She chalked up nine strikeouts and issued five walks.
Sophomore Karlee Leonard socked two singles for Buckeye. Designated player Sydney Omaits delivered a double.
Both teams were slated to see action this afternoon with Shadyside traveling to River and Buckeye battling St. Clairsville at Connorville.
Shadyside 2, Buckeye Local 1
Buckeye Local 001 000 0 - 1 5 1
Shadyside 000 002 x - 2 2 2
BUCKEYE LOCAL (2-2): Starcher (LP, 9 K, 5BB) and Faulkner. Leonard 2S; Bettineschi T, RBI; Omaits D.
SHADYSIDE (2-0): Heagney (WP, 12 K, 2 BB) and Dierkes. Bonar S; Holenka S; Heagney RBI.