Ryan had a four-run lead over Hebron through five innings on Tuesday and looked well on the way to notching its first District 5-5A win.
Then things got crazy.
Hebron scored five runs in its half of the sixth, and after Ryan tied the game again to eventually force extra innings, the Lady Hawks added seven more in the eighth — thanks largely to five errors — to steal a 13-6 win.
“We just have to find a way to secure plays,” Ryan coach Aimee Foutch said. “Flyballs have to be caught, and we need to stay calm under pressure. We had the lead, we just needed to be calm. The other team didn’t stop fighting, and we needed to respond with clean defense. We didn’t.”
The Lady Raiders (8-15, 0-7 district) are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but a win over Hebron (13-15, 3-4) would have allowed them more control over their own destiny.
Instead, the Lady Hawks sent 11 batters to the plate in an eighth inning where they still scratched out four hits amid all the Ryan miscues. With one out, Hebron scored three of its first four runs of the inning off errors. A sacrifice fly from Devon Fisk extended the Lady Hawks’ lead to 11-6, and back-to-back RBI singles from Amanda Roth and Sydney Stegall rounded out the scoring.
Early on, the game didn’t seem like it would get so far out of hand. Hebron had just one hit through the first four innings off Ryan ace Carol Raabe before breaking through with a run in the top of the fifth to tie the game at 1.
That’s when things got interesting as the Lady Raiders scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Danielle Leeds, who finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBIs, laced a two-run double to give Ryan a two-run lead. Two batters later, Megan Durante crushed a two-run homer to extend the lead to 5-1.
The Lady Hawks followed with a five-run sixth for a slim 6-5 lead. The surge included a two-run double from Taylin Wittrock and a two-run homer from Roth. Wittrock finished the game 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs.
The lead was short-lived as the Lady Raiders tied the game at 6-all in the bottom of the inning on a solo home run by Molly Williamson. Both teams went scoreless in the seventh before Hebron’s big eighth inning.
“We have to basically win out now,” Foutch said. “We have to eliminate the errors because we clearly had enough offense [tonight]. It’s our defense that gives it away. We did it to ourselves.”
Hebron 13, Ryan 6
WP — Amanda Roth. LP — Carol Raabe. HR — H: Amanda Roth. R: Megan Durante, Molly Williamson. 2B — H: Taylin Wittrock (2), Erin Payne. R: Danielle Leeds. Records — Hebron 13-15, 3-4; Ryan 8-15, 0-7.