Ranburne impressive in victory
by Rip Donovan
Sports Correspondent
May 06, 2013 | 644 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An impressive win over Jacksonville in tournament play over the weekend carried over to Monday for the Ranburne softball team. The Bulldogs, who downed Jacksonville on senior Kalee Easterwood’s last inning home run, entered the Class 2A, Area 12 tournament at Pleasant Valley as the No. 5 seed. In Monday’s opening game, the Bulldogs defeated No. 4 Woodland 5-3 for their first victory of the season over an Area 12 opponent. In the late – truly late – game, Ranburne played toe-to-toe with No. 1 Pleasant Valley and had chances to win before falling 9-8. Between slow play and the lights going out for a period of time, it was well past midnight before the team got back to Ranburne after Monday’s games.

“Beating Jacksonville, that kind of showed them that, ‘Hey, we can play with people,’” said Ranburne coach Terrell Mobley.

Against Woodland, the Bulldogs fell behind immediately when the Bobcats scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Ranburne tied the score at 2-all in the top of the third as singles by senior Kat Thomas and Easterwood put runners on third and first and senior Maggie Ayers’ sacrifice fly scored Thomas. Easterwood reached home on an error.

Three runs in the third proved to be the difference for Ranburne. With one out, Alyssa Smith doubled and Thomas had a base hit. Thomas stole second base to move into scoring position and Easterwood’s double drove in Smith and Thomas. Easterwood tallied the final run for Ranburne on a passed ball.

Woodland added one run in the sixth. In the seventh, the Bobcats had the top of their order coming to bat. Riley Peterson pitched around a leadoff single with a pop up and a strikeout. After another hit, Peterson got her second pop-up out of the inning to end the game.

In the Pleasant Valley game, Ranburne fell behind twice and rallied to take the lead before falling behind a third time late. The Raiders scored two runs in the home half of the second inning for a 2-0 lead. Ranburne answered with four runs in the third. Easterwood opened the inning with a base hit and Ayers bunted her to second. Singles by Erica Taylor and Peterson loaded the bases and consecutive walks for Hannah Phillips and Lora Mobley scored Easterwood and Taylor. Montana Mattox delivered an RBI single and Smith’s sacrifice fly plated the fourth run of the inning.

Pleasant Valley regained the lead with five runs in the fourth but the Bulldogs got two in the fifth, cutting the deficit to 7-6. Mobley singled and Mattox walked to start. After two ground ball outs, Mobley came home on a passed ball and Easterwood’s RBI single scored Mattox.

The Bulldogs took an 8-7 lead in the top of the sixth. Taylor and Peterson walked. Senior Kaitlyn Benefield reached on a fielder’s choice that erased Taylor. Peterson scored and Benefield moved to third when a fielder’s choice attempt failed to get anyone out. Smith then came through with an RBI single and Ranburne led 8-7. Pleasant Valley got two runs in the bottom of the sixth and the Bulldogs were unable to mount a seventh-inning rally.

“We played some ball Monday,” Mobley said Wednesday morning. “I was proud of the girls for that. That was the best effort that we’ve had all year. We’ve been getting just a little better, being good in spots then being inconsistent, but it came together Monday.”

Peterson had three hits and drew a walk. Taylor and Easterwood each had two hits and Taylor walked twice.

After getting little sleep Monday night, the Bulldogs were back in Pleasant Valley for an elimination bracket game against Ohatchee Tuesday, won by the Indians 15-1. Ohatchee led just 5-0 after five innings then seven Ranburne errors led to 10 runs in the sixth. The Bulldogs got one run in the sixth when Smith walked with two down and Easterwood ripped a double sending Smith all the way home from first base.

“Monday, they were focused. They came no holds barred and then we had the marathon day with two good games. I know being tired had a lot to do with our game against Ohatchee but they were fighting hard,” Mobley said.
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Ranburne impressive in victory by Rip Donovan
Sports Correspondent

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