Panthers ride big fourth inning to win over Rising Sun
— Led by a big fourth inning from its offense and a complete-game effort from pitcher Emily Phillips, the Perryville softball team successfully extended its seasonopening win streak to eight games Monday afternoon.
Right fielder Amber Keene drove in a pair of runs with a double to left field and catcher Carly White followed three batters later with her own three-run double to left as part of a high-scoring seven-run fourth inning that helped power the Panthers to a 10-1 win in five innings over host Rising Sun in Chesapeake Division action.
“We’re riding a great wave of momentum right now. We’ve had a pretty good run of getting on
top of teams,” Perryville coach Dave Ruark said. “We’ve been able to get a big inning almost every game where we’re getting three or four [runs] in an inning.”
Phillips record an RBI-single to right and Ellen Little drove in a run with a hit up the middle to cap the scoring in the fourth inning for the Panthers (8-0 overall, 5-0 division). Lydia Hill singled and scored, while Ashley Meekins and Jordyn Reese both contributed to the frame by drawing base on balls and later scoring.
“With the wind today, I didn’t think we’d have a lot of extra base hits but the girls came up aggressive and had a couple of nice ropes, hitting line drives over the outfielders’ heads, and our runners were ready to go,” Ruark said.
White (3-3, two doubles, four RBIs) provided the heavy lifting for the Perryville offense out of the cleanup spot, while Hill, the team’s three-hole hitter, opened the game’s scoring with an RBI-triple to spark a two-run first inning.
“We’ve been working hard on hitting this year. That was a big downfall we had last year and I think it’s really showing in games,” Hill said. “We executed very well and played the way we should.”
Keene finished with two runs scored and Kaitlyn Griffin added an RBI-triple in the third inning in the victory.
From the circle, Phillips allowed one run on two hits and three walks with five strikeouts. She ran into trouble in the bottom of the fourth inning after allowing four of the first five batters to reach, but escaped with back-to-back strikeouts after a meeting on the mound.
“Pitching, defense and opportune hitting, that was kind of what was going on today,” Ruark said. “It’s making my job easy right now, for sure.”
Right fielder Kelly Porte scored the lone run for the Tigers (3-4, 1-4) after leading off the fourth frame with a free pass and crossing the plate four batters later when Maddie Foard drew a basesload walk. The game ended prematurely at the start of the sixth inning when officials incorrectly ruled that Perryville won via the 10-run rule.
“We tried to throw some offspeed at them early,” Rising Sun coach Rusty Moore said. “There in the first inning we got a little behind, the second inning we did well, and then it just kind of steamrolled on us there in the third and fourth.”
Follow Jordan Schatz on Twitter: @Jordan_Whig
Perryville senior first baseman Lydia Hill delivers an RBI-triple in the first inning of her team’s 10-1 win in five innings over host Rising Sun in Chesapeake Division softball action on Monday.