STEUBENVILLE - Rivalry games always seem to have a little more attached to them.
Wednesday at the softball field at Jim Wood Park, Jefferson County foes Big Red and Edison battled in the latest installment of their rivalry. In the end, Big Red plated five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to rally for a 5-2 victory over the Wildcats.
"I am so proud of our team," Big Red head coach Gus DiMarzio said. "When you are 3-9, it's easy to quit. They are a good team. They have eight wins. Molly McCoy is the best player I have ever seen. I told the girls, 'I'm proud of you.'
"It's easy to fold the tents when you are struggling and when you have lost a lot of close games. We lost another close game earlier this week, but the girls continued to fight like Big Red does and we found a way to get the win."
Edison (8-6) head coach Spencer Bendle did not comment on the game.
"Spencer is a legend in this game," DiMarzio said. "To be able to beat them, it is big for our program. We keep trying and scratching and clawing to find a way to win. Today, we got some breaks, and we found a way to win."
Anna Perrino recorded the win. She struck out six, walked three and limited Edison to two runs on seven hits.
Big Red totaled nine hits.
Mallory Giannamore recorded three singles, Carmie Biasi belted two base hits and Mytia Barker, Tenia Barker, Christina Archer, Brittany Bodo and Abbey Taylor all tallied a base hit.
Zoe Westfall took the loss. Westfall collected three strikeouts while not walking a batter in her 5 innings inside the circle. Caitlin Brenstuhl came on in relief and recorded the final out of the sixth inning on a groundout.
McCoy contributed three doubles, Cassidy Jarvis recorded a single and a double and Ashlee Miller tallied two doubles.
The game was scoreless heading into the top of the fifth when Jarvis connected on a one-out double, and Miller plated her with a double of her own to make the score 1-0.
Big Red had a pair of runners on base in the bottom half of the inning, but Westfall recorded a swinging strikeout to get out of the inning unscathed.
Then, Edison added to its advantage in the top of the sixth.
McCoy got things started with a double. The senior shortstop moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, and she scored on another bunt to put the Wildcats up 2-0.
The tables turned in the bottom half of the inning.
With one out, Archer hit a groundball which rolled down the line to first base. The ball was fielded cleanly, but Archer was able to avoid the tag and reach first safely on the play. Edison argued Archer ran out of the base line, but the call was not changed.
Next, Bodo delivered a base hit to give Big Red two runners on base. After a strikeout, Taylor reached on an infield single scoring Archer making the score 2-1. The tying run scored on another base hit to even the score at 2.
At that point, Brenstuhl replaced Westfall.
Then, Biasi drew a walk to load the bases. Giannamore followed up by hitting a hard-hit ball to shortstop. The ball bounced away allowing the go-ahead run to score making the score 3-2 in favor of Big Red.
Despite the deficit, Edison was just one out away from ending the inning and getting an opportunity to tie the score. The Wildcats appeared to make the necessary play to get out of the inning, but that ultimately proved not to be the case.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Brenstuhl appeared to get out of the jam on a pop up to McCoy, who was standing between second and third base. The runner on second headed to third base on contact, and she ran into the path of McCoy. McCoy attempted to make the catch, but she fell to the ground and the ball bounced out of her glove allowing two runners to score.
The home plate umpire ruled interference on the play wiping out both runs. Big Red argued the call, and after discussing the play with the umpire in the field, the call was changed. The first runner was allowed to score increasing Big Red's advantage to 4-2, while the second runner had to head back to third base.
The other runner came around to score on an error to put the home team out in front 5-2.
"I hope it starts a snowball effect," DiMarzio said about the impact the win could have for his team throughout the rest of the season. "We can't rest on one win. We have to keep playing. Tomorrow is another day, and we play another good team in Union Local.
"We have been struggling to score runs, and today we were able to find a way. We battled and battled. I was happy about that."
Big Red entered the top of the seventh inning with the three-run lead, but the Wildcats refused to go away without putting up a fight.
Jarvis and Miller both reached on singles to start the inning, but Perrino retired the next two batters to keep the runners from advancing. McCoy followed with a walk to load the bases, but Perrino was able to get a flyout to left field to end the game.
"When you come to the field, you are worried about a lot of things," DiMarzio said. "You are worried about being 3-9, and you worry about other things. I told the girls not to worry about being 3-9. I told them to just worry about today. I told them to try and go 1-0 today. It worked. We were able to get the win."
Both teams play at 5 p.m. today at home. Big Red looks for revenge against the Jets, while Edison plays hosts to Indian Creek out at Jefferson Lake State Park.
Big Red 5, Edison 2
Edison 000 011 0 - 2 7 3
Big Red 000 005 x - 5 9 0
EDISON (8-6): Westfall (LP, 5 2/3IP, 3K, 0BB) and Brenstuhl (1/3IP, 0K, 0BB) and Stewart; Jarvis S, D; Miller S, D, RBI, McCoy 3D.
BIG RED (4-10): Perrino (WP, 6K, 3BB) and M. Barker; Biasi 2S; Archer S; Bodo S; Taylor S, RBI; Giannamore 3S; M. Barker S; T. Barker S.