The way the bottom of the seventh inning was going for Ryan against Coppell, it seemed the Lady Raiders were destined to pick up its first District 5-5A win of the season.
But on a cool Thursday night, it was the Coppell Cowgirls who were destined to erase the gaping zero in its district win column.
Ryan couldn’t get the tying run across in the seventh and fell to Coppell 3-2 at Tina Minke Field.
“As a whole, I thought we played well,” Ryan head coach Aimee Foutch said. “I thought we did a couple of things that could have scratched us a run.”
If there was ever a night Ryan would be fighting destiny, it was on Thursday night. Thursday would have been the birthday of Jacob Logan, a Coppell student and football player who died after jumping off a cliff at Possum Kingdom Lake last October.
Coppell and its eight seniors decided to honor Logan with blue ribbons tied in their hair. The team also painted “21,” the number of Logan’s football jersey, in eye-black on the right cheek of each player.
Coppell (10-12, 1-3 district) almost had its first 5-5A win drift away in the seventh inning.
The Lady Raiders threatened in the bottom of the seventh, trailing by one run. With one out, Maddie Quintinar slapped a single up the middle. Carley Rains came up next and ripped the ball to the left-field wall.
Foutch swung her arm around in a circular motion to tell Quintinar to come to third base. Quintinar hesitated for a moment before continuing to third. By the time she slid into the base, the throw from the outfield was there waiting for her.
Instead of runners on first and third base with one out, Rains stood alone at second base with two outs.
“Once she hesitated, she probably needed to stay,” Foutch said. “That’s probably a little bit of inexperience of knowing [when there’s] hesitation, you stay.”
Junior Megan Durante stepped up to the plate, representing the winning run and the final out. Back in the third inning, Durante roped a pitch from Coppell’s Alyssa Ringhausen over the wall in center field to put Ryan ahead by a run.
In the seventh, the move-in from Midlothian lined a pitch back toward the middle of the diamond, a decently hit ball that looked like it was going to touch dirt before it touched leather.
But Coppell’s Lindsay Stivers dove to her left and caught the ball for the game’s final out. Durante stopped as she was halfway to first base, dropped to a knee and slapped the dirt on the first-base line.
The Lady Raiders (16-9, 0-4) couldn’t overcome a two-run double by Coppell’s Alyssa Rusch in the bottom of the fourth inning, the hit that gave Coppell the lead for good.
With two outs, Rusch doubled to the left-center field wall to drive in the runs that went on to give Coppell its first district win.
“She’s gets RBIs when we need them,” Coppell head coach Katie Krug said. “That was a big one. That’s what got us going.”
After the loss, Foutch talked to her team extensively in the right-field grass. Ryan’s next chance to pick up its first 5-5A win won’t be until next next Thursday against Flower Mound, the first of three road games for the Lady Raiders.
Despite the one-run loss and the team’s struggles in district play, Durante’s confidence in her team failed to waver in the team’s discussion out in right field.
“We are saying our district should never count us out,” Durante said. “We are coming to win and we are bringing our ‘A’ game whether they bring theirs too.”
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.
COPPELL 3, RYAN 2
WP — Alyssa Ringhausen. LP – Carol Raabe (12-8). 2B — C: Alicia Vanwinkle, Lora Blackwell, Alyssa Rusch; R: Carley Rains. HR — R: Megan Durante.