Rising Sun edges Elkton in Junior Softball
— 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.