An active day at the plate led Riverdale's softball team to a 14-4 win over Blackman at home on Tuesday night.
After 3 1/2 innings, Riverdale nursed a 2-0 lead, but in the bottom of the fourth, it turned eight hits and two errors by Blackman into seven runs. And though Blackman put two runs on the board in the top of the sixth and seventh innings, Riverdale’s bats remained hot as the Lady Warriors closed the game out in six innings with 14 runs scored.
“You score that many in one inning and it’s going to change the momentum of the game,” Riverdale coach Christy Bingham said. “We just kept talking to them about making adjustments. ... Finally, we had a discussion right at the start of the fourth inning and it all started.”
In Blackman’s case, the answer to the offensive assault by Riverdale was the loss of focus on the defensive end of the field.
“We lost our defensive focus,” Blackman coach Robert Fortel said. “It’s just something we have to continue to work on and we got to get better at it.”
The scoring opened up for Riverdale in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Esther McFarland doubled, and Becca Komers stepped up to plate and hit a shot to the gap in shallow center field, allowing McFarland to reach home before the throw arrived.
Samantha Anderson then cleaned things up by knocking in Komers, putting two runs on the board and setting the tone for the game going forward.
And that momentum carried over into the bottom of the seventh where seven players in the Riverdale batting order recorded a hit.
At the top of the fifth inning, with no outs, Lameisha Parker hit a double, giving Blackman its first real opportunity to put runs on the board.
McKenzie Crawford knocked in Parker, scoring Blackman’s first run of the game. A series of erratic pitches walked two Blackman batters, and with the bases loaded Riverdale’s pitcher, Komers, walked in a run to put two runs on the board for the Lady Blaze.
Still, Riverdale managed to pitch its way out of the inning, and the rest of the game smoothly for the Lady Warriors. After another two-run inning by Blackman, Riverdale scored four straight runs in the bottom of the sixth, forcing the umpires to call the game as the lead extended to 10 runs.
It wasn’t the outcome Blackman wanted, but it is one Fortel feels the team can learn from moving forward.
“We just focus on the process,” Fortel said. “Wins and losses are going to happen, so we've got to focus on getting better one pitch at a time and one at-bat at a time.”