A blanking: Dye hurls 1-hitter in Golden Eagles sectional win

BELPRE – Belpre’s initial two hits Tuesday produced three runs as the host Golden Eagles scored five times in the first two innings and went on to notch an 8-0 Division III sectional softball win over Oak Hill at Civitan Park.

The victory was the fourth in the last seven games for Belpre, which improved to 8-17 on the season. The Golden Eagles host South Gallia at 5 p.m. Thursday, then are off to Albany, Ohio Friday to play Alexander in a 5 p.m. sectional-final contest.

The loss dropped visiting Oak Hill to 2-15.

Belpre’s Kaylee Dye hurled a one-hitter, with only four Oaks hitters reaching base in the game as she faced just two batters over minimum. A one-out double in the second by Shelby Stapleton was the lone hit allowed by Dye, but she was immediately erased on a 6-3-5 double play. An error and hit batter in the sixth preceded another inning-ending DP, and Dye walked a batter with two outs in the seventh.

The Golden Eagles sent six, then eight hitters to the plate in their first two at-bats, tallying five runs to take an early 5-0 lead. Just two hitters into the game, it was 1-0 as Dye led off with a walk, stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored when No. 2 hitter Alex Williams’ grounder right to the second baseman was booted for an error. Williams then was wild-pitched to second and stole third before coming home on Destiny Bell’s single down the left-field line.

In the second inning too, Belpre again had just one hit, a single by Bri Elkins that plated two runs after run No. 3 for the hosts scored on a wild pitch.

Kaity Hager doubled in a run in the fifth before Belpre tacked on its final two scores in the sixth, with both coming on Oak Hill errors.

“The last two weeks have been very nice; things started clicking and the girls have been playing hard, with very few errors,” said Belpre head coach Stephanie Evans. “At the beginning of the year, we had six, eight, even 10 errors a game sometimes and that cost us. But now we’re getting our defense down and are coming around, peaking at the right time. We’ve got our focus on and are excited to be going into the sectional championship.”