KINNIKINNICK — The Athens Bulldogs are in the middle of a quest for a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division championship.

The Bulldogs took a break from league play on Saturday and earned another victory.

Athens won at Zane Trace, 5-4, in a non-league game.

The Bulldogs improved to 19-4 after their fifth win in a row.

Kendra Hammonds and Olivia Banks combined in the pitching circle to get the win.

Hammonds got the start and pitched into the seventh, going 6 1-3 innings. She gave up only six hits and two earned runs, striking out three.

The Pioneers scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to get to within 5-4 of the Bulldogs. Banks came in and got the final two batters out for the save.

Athens scored two runs in the top of the first. Banks and Abbi Ervin led the game off with doubles for a 1-0 lead. Ervin scored on Hammonds’ RBI ground out to second base.

Zane Trace scored single runs in the first and second inning to tie the game at 2-2.

Athens scored in the fourth to get the lead back. Hammonds and Kateyanne Walburn led the inning off with singles, with Hammonds eventually scoring on an error.

The Bulldogs added another run in the sixth. Banks led off with a single, scoring on Walburn’s two-out single for a 4-2 edge.

Athens added an important insurance run in the seventh. Bailee Toadvine hit a double with two outs, scoring when Mya Martin reached on an error.

Zane Trace had the potential tying run on base when Banks got the final out of the game in the seventh, sending the Bulldogs to their sixth win in seven games.

Banks and Walburn each had two hits for Athens.

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