CLEARWATER — River Ridge has been controlled on occasion — for a few minutes, maybe a couple of innings.
Then things seem to explode.
Softballs start finding their way into the gaps. The offense becomes unhinged — No. 1 hitter, No. 9 hitter, it doesn’t matter.
Suddenly, the frenzy is on and every at-bat seemingly produces a score. It’s like an adding machine gone wild and a tight game becomes a blowout.
It happened again Friday against Seminole.
The Royal Knights were down 1-0 after three innings. By the sixth, they were up 8-1. The runs were more than enough as River Ridge held on to win 8-2 in the first round of the Lady Canes Spring Tournament.
“We’ve been hitting the ball really well and scoring a lot of runs,” Royal Knights coach Ernie Beck said. “And the hits and runs seem to come from different people and different places in the lineup.”
Entering the game, River Ridge (9-0) had scored a combined 105 runs on the season and had just one game that went seven innings. The Warhawks (8-1), a team that had given up just one run this season, was the toughest test.
Through the first three innings, the Royal Knights had hits — but no runs. Seminole, meanwhile, scored in the first inning when Brooke Ours walked and came home on a double by Mackenzie Jahn.
The turnaround came in the fourth inning.
The Warhawks had bases loaded, no outs and failed to score in the top half of the inning. River Ridge had bases loaded, two outs and scored three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Allysa Lyons scored on a bases-loaded walk. The other two runs came off a wild pitch.
The Royal Knights were patient, drawing six walks and productive with nine hits. Kenzi Maguire and Morgan Tolle each had two hits. Jada Power had a three-run double in the fifth that broke open the game.
Seminole’s last run came in the seventh inning.
“It took us a while, but we were able to get things going,” Beck said. “We had so many runners on the first few innings. We were finally able to turn that into runs late in the game.”
Palm Harbor University 5, Jefferson 0: The Hurricanes, who were coming off a big district win over Sarasota Riverview on Thursday, continued the momentum with a shutout against the Dragons.
Rachel Taylor, who missed the first month of the season with a strained hamstring, pitched a complete game and won her second game this week. Logyn Lilley went 3-for-4 and Jessica Adams and Moriah Connolly each had two hits for PHU.
“We probably came out a little flat,” first-year Hurricanes coach Kerry Katchuk said. “We were coming off a big emotional win the night before. We did it and with our speed and Rachel pitched a great game.”
East Lake 11, Tampa Catholic 4: The Eagles continued their offensive surge as Emma Hvozdovich had a double and triple and Ashley Bonalewicz had a three-run triple. Hannah Roberts also had three RBIs.
Dunedin 9, Robinson 8: After starting 1-4 the Falcons have won five straight. Dunedin jumped out to a big lead and to hold off a Knights rally that included two home runs.