Ris­ing Sun edges Elk­ton in Ju­nior Soft­ball

Cecil Whig - - & - By CAL DYMOWSKI

— Clear skies on Wed­nes­day evening al­lowed the Dis­trict 5 Ju­nior Soft­ball tour­na­ment game be­tween Ris­ing Sun and Elk­ton at Eder Park to con­tinue af­ter in­clement weather on Tues­day, in­clud­ing light­ning strikes, post­poned the con­test be­tween the two teams af­ter just four in­nings.

Ris­ing Sun made the most of the post­pone­ment, com­ing out on top, 8-2, in the con­clu­sion of the matchup.


Spe­cial to the Whig

With Ris­ing Sun lead­ing 4-0 in the fourth in­ning when play re­sumed, Elk­ton showed signs that it would not back down lightly, tack­ing on a quick run be­fore Ris­ing Sun pitcher Madi­son Perry showed her dom­i­nance, oust­ing the side in speedy fash­ion.

That was when Ris­ing Sun man­ager Pat Tay­lor uti­lized the strengths of his squad by hav­ing his play­ers lay down a bar­rage of bunts in the fifth in­ning, al­low­ing his team to score two runs and in­crease its ad­van­tage.

‘We knew we had to be good at bunting and mov­ing run­ners around,” Tay­lor said. “We weren’t go­ing to just pound the ball.”

Tay­lor said he brought in play­ers that ex­celled at bunting into the game in or­der to help add to his team’s ad­van­tage.

“I have cer­tain play­ers that their ex­per­tise is bunting, so we put them in to what they do best. When you do that it all clicks.”

Elk­ton re­sponded to its county ri­val’s big in­ning by start­ing the bot­tom of the frame with a lead­off sin­gle by Madi­son Sheets. She then took se­cond on the next play to en­ter scor­ing po­si­tion with only one out in the in­ning.

But Perry and the Ris­ing Sun de­fense were not go­ing to give in, record­ing the the next two outs in quick suc­ces­sion to neu­tral­ize any threats from the hosts.

Af­ter a quiet sixth in­ning for both teams, the Ris­ing Sun bats lit up again in the top of the sev­enth in­ning when Alyssa Paulette started the in­ning off with a triple.

Two pitches later, Madi­son Cooper drove in Paulette to give Ris- ing Sun a 7-2 lead.

Af­ter an­other run was added in the sev­enth, the Ris­ing Sun squad con­tin­ued its stel­lar de­fen­sive per­for­mance, as Perry recorded a quick 1-2-3 in­ning to clinch the vic­tory.

Tay­lor said he was anx­ious about his team af­ter its mo­men­tum had been cut off when the game en­tered de­lay.

“I was a lit­tle wor­ried … I didn’t know what the mo­men­tum was go­ing to be like,” Tay­lor said. “But the girls re­sponded. They played hard, worked hard. I’ve got a great group of girls. A lot of un­selfish kids that are will­ing to sac­ri­fice.”

Ris­ing Sun’s Perry was one star that gave her all for her team on the night, pitch­ing a great first half of the game on Tues­day night only to fol­low it up with a de­ci­sive pitch­ing dis­play on Wed­nes­day evening.

Perry said that all she thought about while on the mound was mak­ing sure she re­tired bat­ters quickly in or­der to give her team a shot at pro­gress­ing to the cham­pi­onship game.

“I was think­ing that we need to do a ‘three up, three down’ in­ning in or­der to hold them,” Perry said.

With the win, Ris­ing Sun moves on to next Tues­day’s cham­pi­onship game at Eder Park.

“We know we’ve got busi­ness to take care of,” Tay­lor said. “I don’t take any­one for granted. We have to come out and play with the same fire.”

Ce­cil Whig re­porter Kevin Phillips con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle.

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