MISSOURI CITY – Ridge Point continued its dominance of district softball games with an 11-7 win Tuesday night over Travis, turning away the Tigers’ upset bid with a four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Travis had scored three runs in the top of the frame off Panthers’ pitcher Maggie Darr (7-0) to get within 5-4. Riley Westmoreland’s RBI single and Madi Leighton’s base hit kept the rally going. Carissa Cedillo smashed a hard grounder to Ridge Point’s Taylor Roman at third base, and her two-out error allowed Westmoreland to score from third base.
After Darr struck out Noemi Cortez with the tying run at third to retire the side, Roman more than made up for her defensive miscue in her next at-bat.
Malyn Simmons’ walk to begin the bottom of the inning, Peyton Jackson’s single (one of her four hits in the game, raising her batting average to .571) and Tamera McKnight’s run-scoring line drive to left field set the table for Roman. She crushed a 1-1 pitch from Rachel Ybarra to straightaway center for a 3-run homer, her third round-tripper of the season. Roman has 20 RBI to lead the team. Ridge Point (9-2 overall and 4-0 in District 20-6A play) led 9-4 and was on its way to victory.
The Lady Panthers haven’t lost a district softball game in nearly three years. Their last defeat was to Santa Fe on April 15, 2016, and since then, they’ve reeled off 34 straight district wins for James McClanahan, the only varsity softball head coach the Panthers have ever had.
“Mostly our defense, and finishing innings, getting one-two-three outs, and not making as many errors as we have,” Tigers’ Head Coach Miranda Szink said before the game when asked about what her team needed to do better going forward. Maybe a triple play was not exactly what she had in mind when she said “one-two-three outs,” but that’s what the Tigers pulled off in the bottom of the first.
With the bases loaded, one run already in and nobody out in the bottom of the first, Roman ripped a hard grounder toward third. Cortez backhanded it, tagged Kaia Hernandez as she moved toward home, stepped on the bag to get the second out on a force play, then fired the ball toward second. However, teammate Ashley Kowalewski wasn’t standing on the bag. Instead, she tagged Jackson, who was running from second to third, but had already been forced out. Confusion set in as the infield umpire properly made no call at second base, and Kowalewski returned the ball to Ybarra inside the pitcher’s circle. Eventually, Ybarra ran to second base and stepped on the bag to force out McKnight, who thought Cortez had caught a line drive and never moved off first base – thus completing the triple play. It took 32 seconds.
The most regrettable thing about the game for the Tigers (1-3 in 20-6A play) is that they outhit Ridge Point, 13-11, and left 14 runners on base in seven innings.
District play continues Friday as Ridge Point travels to Elkins and Travis hosts Clements.
Listen to the podcast of Tuesday’s District 20-6A softball action, Ridge Point vs. Travis, at https://www.spreaker.com/show/fort-bend-sports-powered-by-vype. Also, listen Friday to the live broadcast of the baseball showdown between Travis and Ridge Point (both 3-0 in district play) at that same link. Coverage starts at 6:45 p.m.