Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Sports

Softball: River Ridge rolls past Hernando

NEW PORT RICHEY — River Ridge softball coach Ernie Beck likes to schedule tough games the week before districts, which is why Hernando, a team boasting a 20-1 record and 13-game win streak, rolled into town Tuesday night.

But when the lineups were exchanged, Beck noticed that ace Courtney Riddle, for the first time this season, wasn't Hernando's starting pitcher.

"Was I disappointed? Yeah, I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't," said Beck. "That's why we schedule games like this."

His players echoed their coach's sentiments, but managed to get over it and roll to an 8-1 victory.

Riddle, who is 20-1 with a 0.67 ERA, beat the Royal Knights earlier this season 2-1 in eight innings in the final of the Leopard Softball Slam. But coach Kevin Bittinger said he wanted to give Lauren Moore, expected to be next year's pitcher, a chance to start a meaningful game. He also admitted he didn't want River Ridge to see Riddle again, in case the teams meet in the region playoffs.

"We've already batted against her a bajillion times," said Royal Knights shortstop Kenzie Maguire, shrugging. "It was a letdown. We took this game seriously."

The Royal Knights were sparked by the bottom of their vaunted lineup. No. 5 hitter Anessa Holes was hit by a pitch, advanced to third on a double by Melissa Moore and scored on a grounder by Kylie Randolph — using a nifty headfirst slide to barely do so — to put River Ridge (21-3) ahead in the second.

In the fourth, the Royal Knights busted through. Though they had the same number of hits Tuesday — seven — that they did against Riddle earlier this season, they managed to produce them in more timely fashion.

The bottom of the lineup got it going again as Holes walked and was driven home by a Randolph hit, but the top of the order finished it off. Leadoff hitter Maguire and Madisyn Palmer delivered back-to-back bases-loaded singles, and Morgan Tolle followed with a grand slam to make it 8-0.

It was the 18th homer of Tolle's career, who was coming off consecutive hitless games for only the second time in her career.

Hernando (20-2) avoided the shutout when Megan Lane, who earlier had stolen her 51st and 52nd bases of the season, scored an unearned run on Tana McDaniel's single.

John C. Cotey can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JohnnyHomeTeam.

Comments
Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

As former teammates with the Rays and throughout baseball share thoughts and prayers, RHP Danny Farquhar is "progressing well" in a Chicago hospital after suffering a hemorrhage caused by a brain aneurysm on Friday.The White Sox on Monday released th...
Updated: 2 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 23

Monday’s scoreboardBaseballCanterbury 10, Citrus Park Christian 0Northeast 12, Countryside 5
Updated: 3 hours ago

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBaseballTwins at Yankees6:30 p.m.MLB; 1040-AMRays at Orioles7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Dodgers10 p.m.FSFCollege baseballCoastal Carolina at North Carolina6 p.m.ESPNUMississippi at Mississippi State7 p.m.SECCreighton at Nebraska7:30 p.m.Big ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

ST. PETERSBURG — Absolutely, Alex Cobb was saying over the phone, it's going to be weird pitching Tuesday against the Rays.The organization that he owes so much for rearing him since high school, standing by him through assorted injuries, enabl...
Updated: 4 hours ago
The key to the Lightning’s success

The key to the Lightning’s success

This is quite the run the Lightning is on over the past five years.A playoff appearance in 2014. A trip to the Stanley Cup final in 2015. A return to the Eastern Conference final in 2016. A near-miss of the postseason last season. And now back in the...
Updated: 6 hours ago
HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Brooke Blankenship and Luca Tresh

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Brooke Blankenship and Luca Tresh

Brooke Blankenship, Academy at the LakesAcademy at the Lakes knew it would be difficult to manufacture runs during last week's anticipated matchup with Land O'Lakes and Gators ace Callie Turner.So the Wildcats decided to steal a run.This wasn't any h...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Shaquem Griffin on TODAY show: ‘I’m not limited to nothing’

Shaquem Griffin on TODAY show: ‘I’m not limited to nothing’

Shaquem Griffin's ability to play football without a left hand has made him the talk of the NFL draft. But the former Lakewood High and UCF star is determined to silence such talk with his play."It gets tiring," Griffin said today...
Updated: 9 hours ago
HomeTeam 25: Softball rankings for Tampa Bay

HomeTeam 25: Softball rankings for Tampa Bay

1. Sunlake (22-1)Up next: Wednesday vs. Clearwater-Northeast winner (7A-10 semifinals)The buzz: The Seahawks beat Anclote, Gulf and Zephyrhills last week to extend their win streak to 16, currently the longest in the area. Sunlake has been dominant, ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Polly want a sacker: Bucs’ 4th-round draft pick to be delivered by parrot

Polly want a sacker: Bucs’ 4th-round draft pick to be delivered by parrot

Late-round NFL draft picks are often made on a wing and a prayer.The Bucs' fourth-round pick Saturday will be no different. The team announced Monday that as part of the NFL draft TV broadcast, the team's fourth-round pick will be delivered to an ann...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Projecting where USF’s prospects will get drafted

Projecting where USF’s prospects will get drafted

For all the analyses and hypotheses, all the Mels and McShays, all the pro days and private workouts, the NFL draft remains a crap shoot at its core.But just for kicks, we're rolling the dice anyway.As a prelude to what could — could — be...
Published: 04/23/18