Softball News (61)
Mariah Randazzo walked back to the dugout frustrated after seeing her line drive turned into a rally-ending double play in the bottom of the third inning.
Four innings later though, Randazzo got the last laugh as she drove home the winning run with a walk-off bloop single to give the Three Rivers Lady Raiders a 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Southwest Tennessee Lady Saluqis in the first game of a doubleheader at Rains Field.
In the nightcap, Three Rivers took a 7-2 win over the Lady Saluqis to complete the sweep behind the pitching of Lauren Reinagel and home runs from Reinagel and Sydney Davied.
“Two good wins …” Three Rivers coach Jack Childress said. “I thought that both pitchers (Reinagel and Cendyl Carter) did a good job. They mixed up their pitches. … Anytime you beat a Tennessee team (it is good) – their softball has improved over the years.”
In the opener, the Lady Raiders (6-4) trailed 3-2 entering the bottom of the seventh inning when they came alive. With one out, Mallory Siebert singled to right, then went to third base on a double by Londyn Backfisch before stealing home to tie the game. After Backfisch was thrown out trying to steal, Reinagel singled and Carter walked, setting the table for Randazzo’s heroics.
“We were very lucky to win that first game,” said Childress. “It came down to the last (go-around) and we got them in to win the ballgame.”
Three Rivers scored the game’s first run when Teighlor Williams singled, stole second and came home on Davied's squeeze bunt. After Southwest tied the game in the top of the third inning, the Lady Raiders retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth when Siebert singled home Davied for a 2-1 lead. However, the Lady Saluqis retook the lead in the top of the sixth inning to make it a 3-2 game and set the table for the final rally.
Siebert, Backfisch and Williams each had a pair of hits in the win. Carter got the win on the rubber, going all seven innings and allowing one earned run.
In the nightcap, Reinagel played the hero on the plate and on the rubber, hitting a two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning to give the Lady Raiders a 3-1 lead.
“She’s a power hitter,” Childress said. “A lot of times she hits it right here and that’s what does it.”
After Southwest scored in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to 3-2, the Lady Raiders got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Backfisch bunted for a hit, stole second and third then scored on Carter’s sac fly.
Davied and Three Rivers then put the game away in the bottom of the sixth inning. Davied led off the inning with a solo home run to right, then Kelsey Snider scored on a wild pitch and Backfisch scored on Reinagel’s double to make it 7-2 and cap the rally.
Backfisch had three hits in the second game, while Reinagel had a pair of hits and drove in three runs.
Reinagel also got the win on the rubber, going all seven innings for the victory.
The Lady Raiders are back in action Thursday when they travel to Crowder for their first Region XVI contest of the season. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. in Neosho.
BOONEVILLE, Miss. – It was a mixed bag for the Three Rivers Lady Raiders softball team as it hit the road for the first time this season.
The Lady Raiders split a quartet of game at Tigerfest Friday and Saturday, winning the opener against Northwest Mississippi 9-5, dropping a 9-1 decision to East Central, downing Lincoln Land 8-1 and falling 13-0 to Mississippi Gulf Coast in the finale.
In the opener, Three Rivers (2-4) pounded out 16 hits and got solid pitching from Cendyl Carter to down the Lady Rangers.
Lauren Reinagel snapped a 5-all tie when she led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo home run. Carter then drew a walk and later scored when Teighlor Williams reached on an error. Kelsey Snider then singled home Williams to cap the rally.
Reinagel played the heroine again in the bottom of the sixth when she singled in Mallory Siebert to cap the scoring.
Siebert, Reinagel, Williams and Sydney Davied each had three hits to pace the Lady Raiders while Londyn Backfisch added a pair.
Carter earned the win on the rubber, striking out two while allowing four hits, two earned runs and a walk for the complete-game victory.
Against East Central, the Lady Raiders tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third inning when Mariah Randazzo singled and later scored on a wild pitch, but things went downhill from there as the Lady Warriors scored four runs each in the fourth and fifth innings to take the victory.
Reinagel had two of Three Rivers’ four hits.
In the Lincoln Land game, the Lady Raiders wasted no time getting on the board, as Backfisch connected for a one-out single in the top of the first, stole second and later scored on an error. Williams then doubled in Carter and Cindy Nippe later in the inning to cap the rally.
Three Rivers added three more runs in the fourth and fifth innings to enforce the mercy rule and seal the win.
Nippe and Snider each had a pair of hits for the Lady Raiders. Carter picked up her second win of the tourney, allowing just one hit and one run while striking out four and walking four.
In the finale, MGC erupted for eight runs in the top of the third inning to turn a close game into a rout.
Siebert had two of Three Rivers’ four hits in the contest.
The Lady Raiders are back in action Monday when they travel to John A. Logan for a pair of games. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. in Carterville, Ill.
Opening Day did not go as planned for the Three Rivers Lady Raiders.
Despite returning the majority of a 33-win team returning from 2011, the Lady Raiders struggled against Williams Baptist Monday, falling victim to a late rally by the Lady Eagles in a 4-2 loss in the opener before taking a 14-6 loss in the nightcap.
In the first game, Three Rivers (0-2) looked strong after Lauren Reinagel blasted a solo home run to put her team up 2-1 up in the bottom of the sixth inning, but the wheels came off the next inning.
Courtney Weathers led off the top of the seventh with a double and two batters later, Kandess Pfitzner added a base hit. Three Lady Raider errors later, Williams Baptist turned a one-run deficit into a 4-2 lead.
“We were in that first game,” Three Rivers coach Jack Childress said. “We had a chance win that game. … We needed three outs and couldn’t get three outs.”
Three Rivers loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, but the Lady Eagles got a force-play at the plate and snagged a Cendyl Carter line drive to preserve the comeback.
Carter and Mallory each had two hits for the Lady Raiders.
Carter took the loss for Three Rivers, allowing four unearned runs while striking out seven and walking three.
After a good start, things got worse in the second game.
The Lady Raiders took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Siebert singled to lead off, stole second and scored on Londyn Backfisch’s base hit to tie the game. Backfisch later scored as did Reinagel – who walked – to make it 3-1.
The lead was short-lived, however. Williams Baptist turned five hits and four errors into a six-run second inning to take a 7-3 lead and knock out starting pitcher Megan Newberry.
Three Rivers rallied, cutting its deficit to 7-4 in the bottom of the second when Siebert singled home Randazzo, but the Lady Eagles put the game away in the next two innings thanks to seven hits – including a two-run homer by Pfitzner – and four more errors.
“We started playing like sub-junior girls, throwing balls all over the place,” said Childress. “Needless to say we’re going to have an attitude check between now and the next game – and until we think we’ve got it figured out.”
Siebert led the offense with three more hits, while Cindy Nippe added a pair and Carter hit a two-run homer.
The Lady Raiders are back in action Friday and Saturday when they travel to Booneville, Miss. for Tigerfest.
The Notre Dame-to-Poplar Bluff pipeline keeps producing dividends for the Three Rivers Lady Raiders and softball coach Jack Childress.
The latest to announce plans to take the pipeline are standouts Jessica Menz, Hali Rendleman and Savanna Ayers, who have signed letters of intent to play for the Lady Raiders starting this fall.
Menz, a third baseman, was named the Southeast Missourian Co-Player of the Year for the 2011 season after batting .516 with three home runs and 44 RBIs for Notre Dame. She also scored 30 runs, stroked 16 doubles, stole 13 bases and finished the season with an .800 slugging percentage.
“Menz is one of most fearless and smoothest third basemen around,” Childress said. “She also is very smart about the game. She is an excellent hitter who hits the gaps well.”
Menz plans to study conservation at Three Rivers.
Meanwhile, Ayers batted .413 with 35 RBIs while scoring 21 runs, hitting 13 doubles and compiling a .554 slugging percentage en route to earning All-Southeast Missourian honors as a catcher.
“Savanna Ayers is an excellent catcher who blocks the ball well and his with power,” said Childress. “It is an honor to get these two along with their centerfielder Rendleman. And it is a tribute to their program and the hard work these girls put in through seasons of school ball and summer ball.”
Last but not least, Rendleman was Notre Dame’s starting centerfielder, following in the footsteps of Notre Dame – and Three Rivers standout Mallory Siebert.
"We shouldn't lose a beat in centerfield because she has an excellent first step and she has a nice arm," Childress said. "She is very underrated."
All three have been part of a strong winning tradition at Notre Dame, winning a Class 3 state championship in 2009, finishing fourth in Class 3 in 2010 and finishing 26-2 while winning a district title in 2011.
Londyn Backfisch found a home away from home when she chose Three Rivers College as a senior in high school. Now she is hoping that history repeats itself.
Backfisch, a sophomore member of the Lady Raiders softball team, recently signed a letter of intent to play for Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. beginning next fall.
“Here at Three Rivers they can not only take a group of girls and make them a team – they can make them family,” Backfisch said. “That’s pretty much what they’ve done here. I feel at home here and I hope SBU can do the same.”
Backfisch was a key member of the Lady Raiders last spring, starting in the outfield and occasionally at shortstop, batting .351 with 30 stolen bases and 16 RBIs.
Rains Field, the home field of the Three Rivers Lady Raiders softball team, hosted Wednesday's MSHSAA Class 2 softball sectional between East Carter and Festus-St. Pius X. East Carter, the alma mater of current Lady Raider Mariah Randazzo, won 2-1 and will continue its playoff run Saturday in the quarterfinals.
If spring is when college softball teams make their debut on the stage, then fall is a dress rehearsal.
Such is the case for the Three Rivers Lady Raiders, which begin tuning up for the spring of 2012 when they kick off their fall slate of games by participating in the Crowder Playday Saturday at Neosho.
Three Rivers plays eight dates this fall in addition to hosting a high school softball tournament September 30 and October 1.
The Lady Raiders also host their own college playday on October 8.
THREE RIVERS COLLEGE
2011 FALL SCHEDULE
|9/10||12:30p||Crowder Playday||Neosho, MO|
|9/16 & 17||4:30p||Dyersburg State Playday||Dyersburg, TN|
|9/23 & 24||4:00p||UT-Martin Playday||Martin, TN|
|9/28||2:00p||SE Illinois||Harrisburg, IL|
|9/30 & 10/1||TBA||3R High School Tournament||Home|
|10/9||TBA||SE Missouri State||Cape Girardeau, MO|
|10/15||1:00 & 3:00||Arkansas Baptist||Little Rock, AR|
The future was on display Saturday evening as several area seniors – including several future Lady Raiders – made their way to Three Rivers College for its 2nd Annual Senior All-Star Softball Game.
Both squads – sponsored by Skeeter Kell Sporting Goods and First Missouri State Bank – played a pair of five-inning games. However, Skeeter Kell needed seven innings to defeat First Missouri 4-2 in the opener before First Missouri won the nightcap 4-3.
Three Rivers’ entire 2011 recruiting class, with the exception of Rachel George, participated in the game and as a group, they impressed.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” Three Rivers coach Jack Childress said. “I thought Katelyn Hughey had a pretty good doubleheader. I thought all of them played pretty well. … (Kelsey) Snider had the winning hit off of (New Madrid Country Central standout) Kelly Robey in the first game, which was pretty big. (Cindy) Nippe played well – she had a couple of hits.
“I thought that Chelsea Crain played well,” added Childress. “She had a couple of hits and she pitched the last couple of innings. (Mariah) Randazzo had a nice couple of hits and played a nice third base.”
Another signee who stood out was Oran alumna Abbey Anderson.
“She’s going to give us a little speed,” Childress said. “She hasn’t been playing this summer but she has been practicing.”
Several walk-ons for Three Rivers also participated in the game.
“We had some others who played in it that are walking on,” said Childress. “Alex Green made good contact off of Robey.”
Notes: Snider, Nippe and Crain are from Twin Rivers High School, while Hughey is from Naylor and Randazzo is from East Carter. George hails from Corning, Ark. … Kelly Robey’s sister, Heather, pitched at Three Rivers in 2004 and 2005 and had her No. 9 jersey retired. Kelly Robey has signed with Union University in Jackson, Tenn.
Just when you think the lineup cannot get any more stacked at Three Rivers, the Lady Raiders add another impressive piece to the puzzle.
The latest piece is versatile Twin Rivers High School standout Chelsea Crain, who signed her national letter of intent to suit up for Three Rivers on Thursday morning.
“She’s got speed. She bats from the left side. That gives us five slappers,” Three Rivers coach Jack Childress said. “She’s having a lot of success this summer playing against tough competition. She brings a lot to the table but the lineup’s going to be tough to crack next season. But she has the skills and the ability that she will be a good candidate to do so.”
Crain did it all at Twin Rivers – pitched, played the infield and played the outfield – but is expected to be a position player in college.
“She was a really good pitcher in high school – for four years she pitched and her win-loss record was about 90 percent,” said Twin Rivers coach Dustin Benson. “But I think she will play the outfield at the next level. She’s got tremendous speed – she’s got a good glove, got a good throwing arm and can cover a lot of ground. I think she will do a good job for them.”
As a senior at Twin Rivers, Crain batted over. 500 and is batting over .500 in summer league play currently.
“She can slap, she can bunt, steal bases and defensively, I think she will probably be a good outfielder for us,” Childress said. “We’ve pretty well got shortstop and second base wide open and she’s played second base.
Crain is the third Twin Rivers player to join the Lady Raiders for the 2012 season. Kelsey Snider and Cindy Nippe signed earlier this year.
“I’m excited,” said Crain. “I’m ready to play with them again. It’s always fun and it’s going to be nice playing with people who know me and that I’m close to. And that’s better than going somewhere where you don’t know anybody at all.”
Added Benson: “I’m excited for (Chelsea). She’s had the opportunity to play with those other girls the past three years and now they’re going to get to play together at next level. I had a really good group of seniors last year and I think Coach Childress is going to enjoy having them here.”
Crain also has a long history with Childress and his daughter, assistant coach Christa Childress.
“She’s been around Christa and me since she was about 10 years old,” Childress said. “Christa has worked on her pitching, so she’s not exactly like a freshman coming in – she’s been around Christa and myself.”
Crain hopes to grow over the next two years at Three Rivers on the field and off.
“I hope to grow as a person and I hope to grow as an athlete as well,” said Crain. “I feel like I have a lot to learn about life and I think that Christa and Jack can teach me a lot here.”