Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clear sailing as River Ridge ace finishes off Nature Coast

River Ridge ace Lakyn Shull strikes out eight in a completion of last week’s rainout.


River Ridge ace Lakyn Shull strikes out eight in a completion of last week’s rainout.

NEW PORT RICHEY — The sky was clear, the infield a neat swath of raked clay, the grass a dark shade of green.

Perfect conditions for Nature Coast and River Ridge to resume a softball game that had been called a week ago because of a colossal downpour.

When play picked up in the third inning Wednesday, there was one noticeable difference — River Ridge ace Lakyn Shull.

The Royal Knights junior used a rocketing fastball to keep Sharks batters off balance, leading her team to a 5-1 victory.

River Ridge (18-1) will host Land O'Lakes tonight, making it three games in as many nights for the Knights. Coach Ernie Beck said he will choose between Shull and junior Ana Alberti. Alberti pitched six innings Tuesday for a 4-3 win against Wiregrass Ranch.

"I loved it," Beck said of Shull's performance.

Shull finished with eight strikeouts and allowed four hits and two walks for the victory. She got all the run support she would need in the third inning after Kat Femino scored from third base on a wild pitch. That was followed by Marissa Smeltz's RBI single to score Brittany Forrise for a 2-0 lead. Smeltz would then score on an error.

"We were a little sloppy at first and thankfully we cleaned it up," Nature Coast coach Mettina Couet said. "We were one hit away."

The Sharks (8-8) had opportunities in the final two innings, including the bases loaded in the sixth with one out. With the score 4-1, Shull was able to strike out the final two batters to escape the sixth.

Then in the seventh, Shull opted to throw out Brooke Sager at home on a fielder's choice then struck out Jen Marshall with runners at first and second to end the game.

"I don't know what they expected, but I expected a tough game," Beck said. "The kids were up for it."

Izzy Gould can be reached at or (813) 421-3886.

Clear sailing as River Ridge ace finishes off Nature Coast 03/31/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 10:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning Strikes! podcast: Preseason storylines to watch


    In this episode of our Lightning Strikes podcast, Joe Smith and columnist Tom Jones set up the preseason with storylines to watch, as well as expectations for the season. Will defenseman Mikhail …

    Will defenseman Mikhail Sergachev make the Lightning?
  2. Florida Gators announce 2018 football schedule


    The Florida Gators announced their 2018 football schedule Tuesday, including an early SEC game against Kentucky and a matchup against Colorado State, which was part of coach Jim McElwain's buyout from the Rams.

  3. For starters: Rays vs. Cubs in Joe Maddon's return to Trop


    Joe Maddon's return to the Trop will be the main story tonight, but there is still a baseball game to be played, between a Cubs team surging toward another division title with six straight wins and a Rays team struggling to keep alive a longshot bid for the second AL wildcard spot.

    RHP Chris Archer will be on …

    Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since leaving the Rays to become manager of the Cubs.
  4. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs could run into their nemesis


    Greg Auman finishes wrapping up the Bucs' win against the Chicago Bears and looks ahead to Sunday's game at Minnesota, where Tampa Bay could run into nemesis Case Keenum, in our latest Cannon Fodder …

    Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) sacks Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during a 2016 game. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. Strange case: Bucs could face nemesis Case Keenum again


    Who, you might wonder, will be the first NFL quarterback to beat Jameis Winston three times?

    Case Keenum of the Minnesota Vikings drops back to pass in the first half Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. [Getty Images]