20-2 overall, 12-1 (IVC)
Starting Pitcher – Allison Luneborg
WP â Luneborg (10-1, 3.33 IP)
S âKassidy Reidenbach (S #1, 3.66 IP)
Chelsi Rothacher (2 HR #3&4, 2 RBI)
Zoe Johnson (2 2B, HR #3, 2 RBI)
Allison Luneborg (H, 2B, RBI)
Kassidy Reidenbach (2 H, RBI)
Hannah Halstead (H, 2 RBI)
Amber Monigold (2B)
Kaitlyn Stress (2B)
Rothacher & Johnson power Garaway to 20th win.
Garaway and Ridgewood faced off for the second time in five days. As was the case in West Lafayette last Thursday, wind once again played a huge factor in the gameâs outcome. Last week it was a strong wind blowing in from left field that turned the contest into a pitcherâs duel. This time around, the offenses gained payback. A wind advisory was in effect at game time, causing strong gusts to predominantly blow out to right field. Any ball hit into the air turned into a challenge for the defense. The Pirates and Generals combined for 17 runs and 26 hits as each team sent two different pitchers into the circle. Garaway came out on top with an 11-6 win, earning their 20th win of the season.
It was a pair of sophomores who set the tone for the Pirates in the first inning. Chelsi Rothacher led off the bottom of the first with her 3rd home run of the season. It was a shot to dead center. âAs the lead-off hitter, my job is to hit the ball and get onâ said Rothacher, the Pirates center fielder. âHitting a home run to start the game is a great feeling because you get a rally started and set the tone for the game.â
Zoe Johnson decided to play follow-the-leader, and sent a homer to the near identical spot. For Johnson it was also number 3 for the year. âWhen Chelsi hit her home run I thought to myself, it would be pretty cool if we hit back-to-back homers; and then it happened!â
The Pirate offense continued to pound the ball in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Amber Monigold led off the inning with a double deep into the left field gap. Sierra Slentz moved Monigold over to third with a sacrifice bunt. After a pop fly for out number two, Monigold scored on a wild pitch to put Garaway up 3-0.
With two outs, the inning was just getting started for the Pirates. Johnson drew a walk. Kaitlyn Stress smashed a double, putting runners on 2nd and 3rd. Kassidy Reidenbach singled to bring Johnson home, moving to second on the play. Hannah Halstead followed with a 2 RBI single giving Garaway what appeared to be a commanding 6-0 lead.
Now it was time for the Generals offense to kick into gear. After cruising through the first 2 innings, Pirate starter Allison Luneborg got into trouble in the third. Three consecutive softly hit grounders found the holes through the Pirate infield, loading the bases for Ridgewood with no outs. Rachel Simpson connected for a double to cut the Pirate lead to 6-2. Luneborg picked up two outs and appeared to be on her way to ending the inning when Autumn Brown singled to cut the Pirate lead in half, 6-3.
Garaway earned two of those runs back in the bottom of the third. Luneborg singled, to start the inning, and moved to second on a Monigold bunt. Sierra Slentz singled to put runners on the corners. Luneborg scored on a wild pitch, which also moved Slentz to second base. Zoe Johnson continued her big night with an RBI double to score Slentz. Once again Garaway had a comfortable lead, 8-3.
Ridgewood put runners on first and third with a pair of line drive singles in the fourth inning. With a pair of runners on and only one out, the Pirates turned the pitching circle over to Kassidy Reidenbach. Reidenbach was greeted with a line drive single by General lead-off hitter Audrey Tingle. The RBI once again cut the Pirate lead in half, this time 8-4. Reidenbach worked out of the inning without any more damage.
As was the case the prior inning, Garaway responded in their half of the inning; this time adding two runs onto the board. After a Reidenbach single to start the inning, Halstead moved courtesy runner Cassy Donaldson over to second base with a bunt. Allison Luneborg doubled to bring home Donaldson. Luneborg ended up moving to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a passed ball. Pirates were up 10-4.
A pair of singles and an error accounted for another Ridgewood run in the 5th inning. However, the story of the night was every time Ridgewood scored, the Pirates answered.
The answer in the bottom of the 5th once again came from the bat of Chelsi Rothacher. âIn my previous at bat I was not patient and went after the first pitch. I knew I had to be patient and just had to use my fundamentals.â As the saying goes, patience is a virtue. Rothacher sent a deep drive to center field. Ridgewood center fielder Audrey Tingle raced for the ball and had it in her sights. As Tingle crashed into the fence, Rothacherâs drive dropped on the other side of the fence for her second home run of the game. The Pirates lead was now 11-5.
Zoe Johnson followed and attempted to duplicate the first inning. This time she came up a few feet short with her second double of the game. Johnson ended up getting stranded at third at the end of the inning.
Ridgewood scored once more in the 7th inning for a final 11-6 score.
With the hard fought victory, the Pirates are one step closer to clinching the IVC Championship. Sitting in first place at 12-1, Garaway travels to East Canton on Wednesday, hosts Newcomerstown Friday; and then finishes up Saturday at noon with Hiland.