SPRING HILL — It took a gritty performance from Alexis Adams, but Springstead was able to hold off one of the best programs in the area Thursday.
The Eagles jumped out to an early lead and eventually closed out a 6-5 win over River Ridge.
The Royal Knights (10-4) started Melissa Moore, but the freshman faced only four batters without retiring one before being pulled by coach Ernie Beck. Sophomore reliever Morgan Tolle came in and limited Springstead (12-3) to only two runs in the first inning, but the damage was done.
Eventually, the Eagles got to Tolle as well. She got through the second inning but in the third, freshman centerfielder Shelbi Ard reached on an error and freshman catcher Brooke Fischbach followed with an RBI double. After Tolle walked Victoria Meese, Brittny Desmond hit another RBI double.
Most of the damage was done by that group at the bottom of the order. Brittany Martinez, the leadoff hitter, kept it going with another RBI double, and Hailey Drawe singled in the final run of the inning. The four-run outburst gave the Eagles a 6-2 lead.
“We were able to swing the bats well early, and I’ve been happy with how well we’ve been doing that lately,” Springstead coach Craig Swartout said. “River Ridge can just plain hit though, and they wouldn’t let us go.”
Tolle was replaced after that inning by another freshman, Makenzie Goluba. Her entrance marked the silence of the Springstead offense for the remainder of the game.
Trying to make up for her shaky performance on the mound, Tolle hammered a 220-foot blast in the top of the fourth with a runner on to bring the Royal Knights within 6-4.
The story from there was the Springstead senior ace. Adams hadn’t shown her best stuff early, striking out two and walking two through the first four innings. After being called for a third illegal pitch, something she obviously took issue with, she went on to strike out six in the final three innings, walking none.
Adams completed the game, surrendering six hits and three earned runs. She added to her team-high RBI total with two more in the first inning, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
“We have four seniors that will us to win out there,” Swartout said. “Adams can sometimes get pretty competitive out there, and it seemed like she wouldn’t let us lose this one.”