KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Three Rivers softball picked up four wins over the weekend, and it did so in almost every way imaginable.
There was a defensive struggle, an all-around dominant win and even a shootout, but each time, the Raiders came out on top against Metropolitan Community College.
The last game of the weekend was arguably the most thrilling.
Trailing 11-6 in the bottom of the sixth, Three Rivers' offense went off for seven runs to take the lead heading into the final half inning. With two on and one out, Kristyn Carpenter batted in the first run of the side with an RBI single to score Calli Gerber, who made it home from second base.
Gracie King followed up by delivering a haymaker to bring the Raiders right back. She hit a three-run home run out at center field for her third homer of the weekend. She now leads the team with seven home runs on the season, one ahead of Carpenter's six.
"We just fought back," Three Rivers coach Jeff Null said. "We were down the whole game. They hit a couple home runs to go up 10-5, and man, we just kept fighting. We had a couple of big hits along the way."
Three Rivers needed more, though, still trailing by one. After back-to-back singles from Allison Pingel and Zoe Bisby, a sacrifice fly from Mary Yandell drove in a run and tied the game. Kirstien Loman batted in the go-ahead run with a two-out double to score Bisby and give Three Rivers its first lead since the second inning. Gerber connected on a double to score Loman and wrap up the 13-11 comeback win.
"It was a big finish to our weekend," Null said. "It was a tough, tough game. We just fought until the end. I started thinking in about the fifth inning about that long bus ride home, and they just kept fighting back, man. It took every one of them. It was a big team effort, so I'm just super proud of that."
The only other Sunday outing was much different. Abbey Gann earned a win in a complete game to start the day, tossing nine strikeouts and allowing one run in a 3-1 victory.
Offensively, it was a grind, but the Raiders found ways to put enough runs on the board to get the win.
The final two runs came in the fourth for Three Rivers. Campbell continued to make plays, drawing a leadoff walk to open the inning. A single from Young set Campbell up on third. With two outs, Carpenter and King drove in back-to-back runs to open up a 3-0 lead.
Metropolitan scored its lone run in the fifth inning, but Three Rivers' defense didn't let up after that, hanging on for the win.
"We just played tough," Null said. "They just fought all weekend. It wasn't pretty, you know, there was a lot of frustration in there. It looks good when you go 4-0, but there was a lot of frustration in there. Just adjusting to different pitchers and different styles. They had a lot of different kids."
Saturday's games had a bit more separation. After coming out on top with a 9-5 win, Three Rivers owned every aspect of the second matchup. Sophie Wunderlich went 2 for 2 at the plate and had a game-high four RBIs, while Bisby and King added three apiece as Three Rivers earned a 14-2 run-rule win to close the first day. Both King and Bisby added home runs in a dominant display.
Saje Kurpiela and Adrienne Stucker split a great pair of performances. Kurpiela went three innings, allowing two hits and an earned run with four strikeouts. Stucker pitched the final two innings and allowed two hits with as many strikeouts without giving up a run.
With the win, Three Rivers (17-2, 7-1 Region XVI) has won its last eight games. The Raiders will visit St. Charles at 2 p.m. Tuesday for a doubleheader.
Nate Fields - Daily American Republic