PARK HILLS, Mo. — Three Rivers softball's pitching power mixed with its explosiveness at the plate makes for a lethal combination.
The proof is in the 14 straight wins the Raiders have amassed along with their 23-2 record. The most recent two came in a conference matchup at Mineral Area, where Three Rivers walked away with a 13-0 win followed by a 19-2 win to keep its momentum going into a busy week ahead.
"It was a good day," Three Rivers coach Jeff Null said. "They got it going. Everybody swung it well. We were up and down the lineup in both games and the pitchers were solid."
Abbey Gann threw four shutout innings and struck out five batters to pick up a win in the front end of the doubleheader. Gann's record on the season is now 9-1, and her 1.41 ERA will continue to drop with Tuesday's performance.
At the plate, Zoe Bisby did some strong work, but so did just about everybody else. Bisby led the game with four RBIs on a 2-for-3 day, which included a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning.
In fact, all three of Three Rivers' home runs in game one came in the sixth inning. Kristyn Carpenter hit a two-run shot to score Lexi Campbell and to start the scoring in the inning. Lana Reed showed signs of getting her groove back after a couple of off days at the plate since rejoining the team at the conclusion of basketball season. She hit a homer in the sixth to score Allison Pingel right after Bisby launched hers.
"She's figured it out," Null said. "... Man, she looked a lot better today at the plate. But heck, everybody looked pretty good today."
Reed finished 3 of 4 with three RBIs in the fifth spot in the lineup. Carpenter also added three RBIs.
The Raiders' offense stayed red-hot at the start of game two. They piled 12 runs on the board in the first inning on the way to a five-inning run-rule win. Kirstien Loman had a day at the plate. She hit two home runs and finished with three RBIs on a 3-for-3 day. Mary Yandell finished with six RBIs, boosted by a three-run homer in the top of the first inning.
Defense was a little shaky in the second game, gave up a couple unearned there, but you know, it's tough. We scored 12 in the first in the second game, so it's easier to lose a little focus," Null said.
Saje Kurpiela picked up her 10th win of the season with her start in game two. She pitched three innings and allowed four hits, an earned run and a walk to go along with one strikeout. Adrienne Stucker pitched the last two innings and struck out two, allowing two hits and a walk.
"Man, the pitching's been solid," Null said. "All three got a little bit of work but not too much. We have a big week coming up. … It's was nice to be able to get them all a little bit of work and not overwork them. Kind of a little tune-up for this weekend."
With 14 straight wins under its belt, Three Rivers will visit East Central College for the last of four straight series away from home. The first game of Thursday's doubleheader is set to start at 2 p.m.
Nate Fields - Daily American Republic