BATESVILLE, Ark. — Make it 12 straight wins for Three Rivers softball. And in 11 of those 12 wins, the defense has held its opponents to four or fewer runs.
Abbey Gann got the start in an 11-0 win over Lyon College JV. She threw three strikeouts and allowed two hits with the help of solid defense behind her. Saje Kurpiela pitched her own shutout in a 9-0 win to close the day. Kurpiela allowed four hits and two walks with four strikeouts in a solid win.
"They got a little rest earlier this week and they both came out and threw strong and did a good job of locating and overall, solid performances," Three Rivers coach Jeff Null said. "(Lyon) was solid. They didn't strike out a whole lot. They put it in play and the defense — I think they had one error all day — so it was a pretty solid day."
The offense, meanwhile, did steady work throughout the day to complement stout defense. Three Rivers put two runs on the board in each of the first three innings before getting held scoreless twice in a row.
In the sixth, though, the Raiders put five runs across to seal a double-digit win. After Jenny Morey got on base with a leadoff bunt, Kristyn Carpenter sent her home with an RBI triple to center field. Carpenter finished the first game with two RBIs and three runs scored with a double and a triple.
"We had a good approach," Null said. "Their pitcher did a really good job of locating, working in and out. I thought we did a very good job of taking what they gave us today. We didn't really drive the ball like we have been and really wanted to, but we did a really good job of taking what they were giving and base hitting them to death."
Gracie King with an RBI single to score Carpenter, and Lexi Campbell drove in King and Allison Pingel from the eighth spot in the lineup. Katie Young drove in Zoe Bisby for the last run of the game with an RBI single.
Three Rivers took three innings to get going in the second game. After two scoreless trips to the plate, the Raiders put a run on the board in the third and kept piling it on in the fourth and fifth with four more runs in each inning.
Young started started the fourth with a leadoff single before two more followed. Sophie Wunderlich drove in a run on a fielder's choice after Mary Yandell reached the plate on an error at second base. Bisby hit a two-RBI single to score the last two runs of the inning.
"The offense was steady," Null said. "We kept getting somebody on and stealing a base when we needed to, moving runners when we needed to, just kept the pressure on them."
A two-out rally in the fifth led to the final four runs of the game in the fifth inning. Calli Gerber hit an RBI double, scoring Kirstien Loman from first base. Lindsey Elfrink smacked a triple to left field to score two runs, and Bisby drove in the final run with an RBI single.
Now, Three Rivers will get three days off to rest before playing eight games next week. The Raiders will travel to Mineral Area to face the Cardinals in a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Nate Fields - Daily American Republic