When Ryan opened the seventh inning with back-to-back hits to put runners in scoring position against Allen, the Lady Raiders seemed poised to erase a two-run deficit on Wednesday.
In the third meeting between the teams, Ryan sent the potential winning run to the plate three times and eventually had the tying run 60 feet away from home plate. The Lady Raiders were able to take a chunk out of the deficit, but they couldn’t erase the gap.
Allen was able to hold off the late Ryan rally to pick up a 6-5 nondistrict victory at Tina Minke Field. The rare Wednesday afternoon game was a result of both schools being out for spring break.
The Lady Eagles (4-18) avoided a third loss to Ryan this season, the first two coming at two tournaments.
Ryan head coach Aimee Foutch said she wasn’t too concerned with her team’s final outing before District 5-5A play begins next week.
“We’ve been playing really well,” Foutch said. “I just think once you play a team a multitude of times, I think that there’s a relaxed feel that comes with playing them again and again. It’s hard to beat the same team three times in a row.”
Despite facing the Lady Eagles a third time, Ryan (16-5) was in position to win the game. The Lady Raiders led 4-2 before Allen scored two runs each in the fifth and sixth innings.
In the sixth, after Ryan pitcher Carol Raabe hit a batter and walked another, Allen’s Courtney Parchman pounded a pitch into deep center field to drive in the game’s deciding two runs.
Raabe (12-4) pitched all seven innings, allowing four earned runs with seven strikeouts and three walks. Raabe maneuvered her way out of some tough situations throughout the game.
The Lady Eagles stranded 13 runners, but they were able to get to Raabe late in the contest.
Foutch said that, like the rest of her team, Raabe might have been a little relaxed against the struggling Allen squad.
“We threw lots of stuff,” Foutch said. “They were just on it.”
Allen catcher Korynna Lara led the Lady Eagles, going 4-for-5. Parchman went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in the victory.
Raabe led the Lady Raiders, going 3-for-4 at the plate. Ryan catcher Megan Durante’s only hit was Ryan’s biggest of the contest.
Durante came up to the plate with the bases loaded in the third inning and hit a double. Two runs scored, and on the throw to home plate that got one Ryan runner out, Durante advanced to third base. Lara’s throw squirted away from Allen third baseman Alex Detrick, and Durante scored the third run of the inning to give Ryan a 4-2 lead.
The Lady Raiders wouldn’t score again until the game’s final inning. Scarlett Hazel, who has pitched in all four of Allen’s wins this year, had surrendered a single and a double to put runners in scoring position with no outs in the inning.
Durante and Kayla Cunningham both grounded out, but one run did score. Raabe stepped up to the plate with the tying run on third base, and she hit a ball that slowly sputtered a few feet from the plate and rolled toward first base.
The Ryan junior slid headfirst into the base, but the throw barely beat her to end the game.
For Allen head coach Debbie Evans, it was a much-needed win for a team that’s dropped its first two games in District 10-5A play.
“We needed to get a win going into … district next week,” Evans said. “But if for nothing else, just for pride.”
For Foutch, it was a small reminder for her team to remain consistent as Ryan enters district play.
“I kind of felt like today was kind of a reminder that you have to come out every day with your ‘A’ game,” Foutch said. “You can’t just assume you’ll beat a team and they’re going to come out here and lay down for you and let you win.
“You can’t play differently from day to day.”
BEN BABY can be reached 940-566-6869. His e-mail address is email@example.com .
ALLEN 6, RYAN 5
WP — Scarlett Hazel. LP — Carol Raabe (12-4). 2B — A: Parchman; R: Carol Raabe, Carley Rains, Megan Durante.