It’s a good thing that softball players don’t melt in the rain.
In a drizzle which turned into a downpour Sept. 11, the Dakota Ridge Eagles defeated the Green Mountain Rams 7-1 in a game which never saw the end of the gray and dreary weather. The temperature hovered in the 50s and the rain just got heavier and heavier.
However, apart from the sogginess, the Eagles held up on the field and at the plate to clinch the Class 5A Jefferson County League victory and improve their record to 7-3 overall and to 1-1 in the league.
Green Mountain took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth when Hillary Owens got on base by a Dakota Ridge error (the only Eagles error of the game), advanced on Hannah Pearce’s groundout at first and eventually scored as teammate Kelly Groy grounded out to first as well. The Eagles got out of the inning as Jen Anderson struck out the fifth batter of the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Anderson got on base after Green Mountain’s first baseman couldn’t field a throw from the shortstop and then Danielle Porter came in as a pinch runner for Anderson.
After Christa Murphy was thrown out at first for the first out of the inning, Lexi Chavez was walked. Ashley Behabetz struck out for the second out and Courtney Sharp stepped up to the plate. Sharp made it to first on another error by the Rams’ first baseman and the error brought home Porter and Chavez. Sharp stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on yet another Rams’ error at first when Bree Berens got to first on the missed play.
“Our strategy was pretty simple. Just put the ball into play and make the other team try and field the wet ball,” said Dakota Ridge coach Dave Atencio.
Green Mountain’s fielders had the toughest time hanging onto the cold, wet ball as they committed four errors in the first four innings. The pitchers seemed to have the least amount of difficulty as the umpires and assistant coach, Monica Atencio, helped by continually wiping off the rain-soaked softball.
Green Mountain’s pitcher had a total of nine strikeouts and Anderson had six.
The Eagles’ three runs in the fourth gave the team enough momentum to propel them through the rest of the game.
Anderson finished 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Behabetz finished 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Berens went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Becca “Batman” Hart went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Chavez finished with one RBI and a stolen base while Christa Murphy also contributed an RBI and a double. Sharp finished with two RBIs and Michelle Stead added a double.
“Those were definitely tough conditions to play in,” Atencio said. “We were trying to keep the field in good condition by bringing in the dirt and raking it around.”