Dale rallies for 4-3 extra-inning victory over Ripley
DALE – A clutch run-scoring single by Karleigh Landreth tied it up in the bottom of the eighth inning and a wild throw into the dirt for an error just moments later was the difference as the Dale Lady Pirates came away with a 4-3 victory over the Ripley Lady Warriors Tuesday to open the 2020 fall fastpitch softball season.
Dale, 1-0 on the season, trailed the whole game after Ripley scored two runs in the top of the first.
The Lady Pirates countered in the bottom half of the first when Danyn Lang drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on Emilia Idleman's single to right field. One out later, Bell's RBI groundout to short scored Lang to trim the deficit to 2-1.
That score stood up until the bottom of the seventh when Lang led off with a single to center, moved up to second on a wild pitch and ended up third after Maddie Conley's fly ball was caught in center field. Bell then delivered a timely single up the middle with two outs to make it 2-2 and force the extra inning.
The Lady Warriors took a 3-2 lead in the eighth when Betty Wolfe, who led off the inning with a single up the middle, ultimately scored off Taylor Bond's sacrifice fly.
But Dale wasn't to be denied.
Makenzy Herman led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to right-center, advanced to second on Anna Hester's sacrifice bunt and scored off Landreth's clutch single to right. Landreth, in hustling mode, ended up at second base on the throw when Ripley tried to gun down Herman at the plate which was unsuccessful.
Lang followed with an infield single to the gap between shortstop and third. Idleman then hit a sharp grounder to short, which was fielded cleanly, but the throw bounced into the dirt as Landreth raced home with the game-winning score.
A key factor in the game was the Lady Pirates' flawless defense behind Idleman's range at shortstop to a pair of critical defensive plays from the outfield.
“Emmy is about as good as you can get. She's an unbelievable player and it's all routine with her,” said Dale head coach Andy Powell.
Dale kept the Lady Warriors off the board in the in the sixth thanks to an 8-1-5 putout as Hester hummed a sharp strike to Bell on a relay. Bell then caught the runner between third and home and fired the ball to the third baseman Conley who made the tag. Then in the seventh, the Lady Pirates kept Ripley off the board again with a 7-2 connection.
“We've got good players in every position and a couple on the bench who can step in,” Powell said.
Bell allowed the three earned runs off 10 hits with seven strikeouts and four walks (two intentional) in working all eight innings for the pitching victory.
Eight of Dale's 10 hits came from four players, who finished with two apiece. Bell was 2-for-3 with the first two RBIs of the game for the Lady Pirates. Lang and Herman each finished 2-for-4 as Lang scored twice and walked two times while Herman also scored a run. Idleman ended up 2-for-4 and scored once.
Brook Gobble suffered the pitching loss for Ripley as she gave up only three earned runs off 10 hits with four strikeouts and four walks.
“Their pitcher is really good. She beat us last year to open the season,” said Powell. “It was a dang good win for us today.”
Wolfe went 3-for-4 and scored once for the Lady Warriors.
The next action for the Lady Pirates was expected Thursday in the Ripley Tournament. Watch for updates.