Summer Shockley started both games for the Lady Raiders, and won both games. Three Rivers swept Ellsworth 15-3 in five innings and 2-0 on Thursday at Rains Field, ending a seven game losing streak after Three Rivers opened the season winning nine in a row. "We were more worried about ourselves, getting our minds right. We blew a game or two at Joplin," Three Rivers coach Jeff Null said. "They are learning how to overcome mistakes and they bounced back today." The Lady Raiders led 5-1 after two innings in the opener, then piled on 10 runs in the third inning, nearly batting around twice. Allison Pingel hit a grand slam to left field in the third and was 3 for 4 with eight RBIs in the game. She leads the team with six home runs and 28 RBIs for the year. Sophie Wunderlich started the inning at the plate for the Lady Raiders, then walked and scored in both her at bats. She was the only player to score twice in the inning, and was two batters away from batting a third time in the third inning. Every roster spot scored a run in the third. "We just had to get our bats going. It was nice to get them going in Game 1," Null said. Ahead by 14 runs, Null relieved Shockley (7-2) after the third inning and let Kari Hatridge pitch the final two with the team's regular No. 2 pitcher Macy Rogers resting with a sore triceps. "We jumped out on them and got Summer out after three innings," Null said. Hatridge had a strikeout with a walk and three hits against, including two solo home runs. Shockley struck out six and allowed three walks and three hits. "I knew they weren't throwing their best the first game, so I thought they were going to try to steal a game in Game 2, so I brought Summer back. She was strong, she was strong all day," Null said. The nightcap was a pitcher's dual. In was scoreless going into the bottom of the fifth inning. Three Rivers put two on in the first, but 11 straight batters had been retired when Gracie Gargac singled to center. Sydney Tollison came in as a pinch runner for the tall third basemen, and stole second before Kira Cunningham moved her to third with a sacrifice bunt.
With two outs, Lindsey Elfrink put down an RBI bunt single the rolled between the pitcher and first baseman, causing enough confusion about who was going to pick it up to let her reach first. Then leadoff hitter Randi Scruggs tripled to the gap in right-center field to put Three Rivers up 2-0. It was all Shockley needed. Shockley stranded two in the sixth and Ellsworth had one on with one out in the seventh when Lady Raider shortstop Kristyn Carpenter caught a line drive and turned a 6-3, game-ending double play. "It shows the girls, having the versatility, being able to do different things … that's where having a complete team is very important," Null said. "Everybody doesn't necessarily like their roles all of the time, but they came in and executed their roles and that is why we were able to pick up a couple wins today." Three Rivers (11-7) had five hits, with nobody getting two. Gracie King reached twice after a walk and a single, and Pingel reached twice after a single and an error. Shockley gave up four hits and two walks with nine strikeouts. Through 10 appearances, Shockley has a 2.64 ERA and is striking out 9.64 batters per seven innings. She's averaging four hits and 2.6 walks against per game. Three Rivers opens its Region XVI season at home against State Fair at noon Saturday. "They are a little improved over last year, second year in their program now," Null said. "We want to get off to a good start in region play. I expect a couple of tough games Saturday, hoping the rain cooperates."
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic