Photos by Gerardo Bolong
Jasmine Fulmore warms up for Mt. Rainier.

Chargers hold off Ram rally

By Gerardo Bolong

Visiting Kentridge broke away from a 2-2 draw after five complete innings before holding off a late Mt. Rainier charge to register a 6-4 SPSL 4A North girls softball victory in 83 degree temperature on Wed. April 30.

The true culprits in the Ram loss were errant fielding and throwing decisions.

"We've been winning close games and have been playing pretty clean ball through the past week (as part of a winning streak that Kentwood ended on Monday after seven Ram wins)," said Mt. Rainier head coach Ben Reindell. "Today we kind of threw the ball around. We didn't play our best, but the girls played hard and kept coming back."

After the Rams stranded runners on first and second bases in the first inning, the Chargers rode ahead 2-0 in the second inning by using a trio of infield bunt singles, one opposite field bloop double and a line shot two-baser.

In the bottom of the third inning, the resurgent Rams rocked the Chargers with a two-out lightning strike. Jasmine Fulmore sent a hit into the left center field gap for a stand up double. Left handed batter Orion Schade followed with a ringing, run-scoring double into the same area. Olivia Haney emulated her teammates by stinging an RBI double down the left field line for a 2-2 standoff.

For the following four innings, the Ram bats were muted for no hits, while Kentridge was able to pull away.

Untidiness of fielding and throwing by the Mt. Rainier infield plus Megan Thorsland's RBI double vaulted the Conquerors into a two-run sixth inning before an infield throwing error on the first Kentridge batter of the seventh inning and a missed tag of a base opened up the gates for the Chargers to score one run before Ashton Bledsoe deliver what would become a game winning RBI double.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Ram catcher Mariah Peterson slammed an opposite field home run far above and over the right field fence.

"I just wanted to pump up the team and get them rolling," related Peterson. "I looked for an outside pitch, medium low in the strike zone. I'll take it anytime."

Sarah Yaroslaski reached first base ahead of Brianna Pighin's double to left field. As two runners were posted in scoring position, the next Mt. Rainier batter struck out, but Schade delivered a run-scoring base hit to narrow the differential to two runs at 6-4. A called third strike on the next batter finally finished the final flourish for the Rams.

Peterson's 1 for 3 and Schade's 2 for 4 led Ram batters. Kaylee Hamilton batted 2 for 4 with a double and RBI while Jessica Torlai hit 2 for 4 with a double for Kentridge.

Mt. Rainier now stands at 8-5 league and 8-6 overall as it battles to hold third place behind league leading Tahoma (11-0, 14-0) and Kentwood (10-3, 10-6).

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