The Lady Raiders picked up a little rust during the recent and persistent weather, but their winning streak is still in tact. Three Rivers, playing their first games in nearly two weeks, swept East Central 2-0 in the opener and 6-2 in the nightcap Thursday at Rains Field. "A lot of rust, especially offensively. Their pitchers did a good job, but at the same time we didn't adjust very well," Three Rivers coach Jeff Null said. "Luckily our pitchers all threw well today. Defense was pretty solid for the most part, at the end there we had a little lapse, but we finished on a double play." The Lady Raiders (23-8) have now won nine in a row, and 14 of 15 going back to March 15, their only loss during that time was by one run at Jefferson. Those 14 wins include nine in Region XVI, catapulting Three Rivers to the top of the region standings. "We got them in and we are just trying to get ready," Null said. "I was just glad we got a couple games in before we go up (to Crowder on Sunday)." Three Rivers was scheduled to travel to North Central on Friday and Saturday, but with snow in the forecast, that has been rescheduled for April 24-25. Summer Shockley (14-3) allowed two hits and struck out 10 with no walks in the opener against East Central (12-10). "She was dominant and that allowed us to get some bats in and get our feet back under us a little bit. It was a little better the second game, still wasn't the consistency we had before the break," Null said. Shockley passed 100 innings for the season and lowered her ERA to 2.01 with the complete-game shutout. She is averaging 9.2 strikeouts per seven innings and her 10-strikeout performance Thursday was her sixth double-digit strikeout game of the season. Still, she was pitching in a scoreless game until Sydney Tollison and Ally Law scored in the sixth inning for the Lady Raiders. Allison Pingel doubled to lead off the sixth and Tollison entered as a pinch runner. Law singled, and Sophie Wunderlich singled to get the Lady Raiders on the board. Law soon found her way home on an error. Kari Hatridge (2-2) pitched fi ve innings in the win in the nightcap and allowed three hits and two walks with two strikeouts. "With all these rainouts we are going to get crammed up at the end of our schedule and have games we have to get in, so we are going to need everybody. It was good to be able to throw Kari," Null said. Carleigh Burnett pitched the final two innings and allowed three hits and no walks with one strikeout. The Lady Raiders didn't wait quite so long to give Hatridge a lead to work with. Three Rivers scored a pair in the second, led 3-0 going into the fifth and Hatridge retired with a 5-1 lead. Kristyn Carpenter finished the scoring after she had a one-out single in the sixth, stole second and scored on Pingel's double to the corner in left that nearly took out her coach's feet along the way. Shockley and Kira Cunningham both tripled. Pingel was 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and had four hits in the doubleheader. Shockley had two hits and two RBIs, and got a chance to play shortstop, as well. Wunderlich, the regular second baseman, got the second game off and much of the infield took a few steps to the right in the process. "I just wanted to get everybody as much (playing time) as we could," Null said. Carpenter went from short to second, Shockley, who typically plays third, went to short and Gracie Gargac took third.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic