The Lady Raiders used a pair of big innings for a pair of comeback wins to open their season. After rain pushed back their season opener, Three Rivers finally took the field Tuesday and beat Dyersburg State 4-2 and 10-7 to open the season. Of Three Rivers' 14 runs, 13 came in two innings. "I didn't think we were very consistent at the plate, but their pitchers had a little bit to do with that too," Three Rivers coach Jeff Null said. "Hitting in contagious." Down 1-0 in the bottom of the second of the opener, Three Rivers batted around for four runs. With one out, Sophie Wunderlich and Kabrien Rogers got the inning started with a hit by pitch and a walk. Kierstan Loman moved them over with a sacrifice bunt, which also rolled things over to the top of the lineup. The next five Raiders all reached. Leadoff hitter Randi Scruggs tied the game with an RBI single and then Three Rivers took the lead on an infield error off Kristyn Carpenter's grounder. Gracie King and Allison Law added RBI line drives up the middle to put Three Rivers ahead 4-1. Three Rivers pitcher Summer Shockley allowed three batters to reach base over the next four innings before a rocky seventh. "She got a little wild in the seventh. It may be because she got a little tired early in the year, haven't gone that long," Null said. After getting a groundout to start the seventh, Shockley allowed the next five batters to reach base, one fewer than she had allowed in the previous six innings combined. One runner was thrown out at home, but Dyersburg State had the bases loaded with two outs and the go-ahead run on first when Rogers caught the final out at the warning track in right field. "Gave us all heart attacks," Null said of the near grand slam. Shockley allowed five hits and three walks with three strikeouts in the win. In the nightcap, Law and Allison Pingel both homered as part of a ninerun fourth inning. The Lady Raiders were down 6-0 going into the fourth after giving up five unearned runs in the second. "We just came out and booted a couple and they got a hit, made us pay," Null said. King and Pingel had leadoff singles and then Law hit one over the fence in left. Three Rivers then scored five unearned runs that were helped along by three Dyersburg errors to take an 8-6 lead. With two outs, Pingel capped the inning with a two-run home run. Both King and Pingel scored twice in the inning. Carpenter tacked on a run in the sixth after a leadoff walk, a stolen base, and an RBI single by Pingel, making the Three Rivers clean-up hitter 4 for 4 with three RBIs in the game and an .875 on-base percentage for the day. "Carpenter, King, Pingel, they were on all day it seemed like. Law got us going in that second game with the home run," Null said. Carleigh Burnett picked up the win after pitching two innings in relief. Burnett didn't allow a baserunner and got two strikeouts. Macy Rogers started and allowed four hits and a walk with two strikeouts over three innings. Of the six runs against her, one was earned. Kari Hatridge pitched the final two innings and had two strikeouts and a walk with no hits allowed to earn the save. Scruggs and Carpenter, the first two batters in the lineup, combined for six stolen bases.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic