The Lady Raiders went 3-1 over the weekend at the Tyler Showcase in Tyler, Texas, including three wins against ranked opponents. The Lady Raiders beat Howard (Texas), Butler and Indian Hills, currently ranked in order from 11-13 in the most recent poll, released March 2. The Raiders beat Howard 5-3, Butler 8-0 and closed the weekend with an 11-3 win over Indian Hills. Their lone loss was 9-6 to fifth-ranked Tyler. "I think we found out a lot about our team. You've got to put yourself in those situations to find out what you have.," Three Rivers coach Jeff Null said. "The game we lost, we kind of felt we gave it away a little bit. We didn't play our best." Kindi Puckett (3-1) pitched a pair of completegame wins. She allowed eight hits and no walks with five strikeouts against Howard, then allowed two hits and a walk with three strikeouts in a five-inning win against Butler.
Abbey Gann (4-0) also got a five-inning win against Indian Hills after allowing six hits and two walks with four strikeouts. "Defense was really good for the most part, as well. We had a couple games where we didn't make any mistakes and you can't do that against good teams," Null said. "These are elite teams. Consistently we are putting the ball in play. We didn't strike out much all weekend. It seems like every inning of every game we were able to put oppurtunities together, so that's a big improvement over the fall." Lauren Joyner hit a pair of home runs in the Showcase while Sydney Walker and Zoe Bisby each had one. Joyner is up to four home runs over 11 games and is slugging 1.154. "She's off to a great start," Null said. "She had moments in the fall where she looked really good and moments where she looked really bad. She's come out this spring and looked consistent from day one." With three wins and a close loss to four top-13 teams, Three Rivers earned votes in the most recent NJCAA poll, released Monday, but was one spot out of the top-25. "It's tough for our kids. I feel like they earned (to be ranked)," Null said. "It is a little frustrating for the kids. You want them to get the recognition they deserve ... we'll just use it as motivation and stay hungry."
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic