Four-run third inning enough to keep Lady Panthers perfect
RIVERSIDE — Coming into Wednesday's game with Preston the Snake River Lady Panthers had not scored less than 10 runs in each of their three wins to start the season.
The Lady Panthers had also got stellar pitching from Raegan Martin and Sara Goodwin, so the visitors from Preston were going to have their hands full just to get hits as Martin was in the circle.
Mother Nature also made it difficult on both teams as a steady wind over 25-30 mph made fly balls an adventure and throws across the diamond tough to make.
With Preston ace Megan Porter on the mound, the Panthers knew it was going to be a challenge to score runs and when the opportunities presented themselves the Panthers were going to need to cash in.
In third inning they did just that.
Snake river scored all four of their runs in the inning and held of two Preston bases loaded opportunities to earn a 4-1 victory at Riverside Elementary School.
"This is the first pitcher we have faced this year that was the ace," Snake River head coach Kay Martin said."No offense to the other pitchers we have faced, but she was tough and kept us at bay for all but the one inning. We got enough when we needed to to get the win."
After being held hitless in their first two at-bats, the Panthers finally got going in the third.
Piper Coles led off with a double to right center field.
After a pop out Kara Polatis laid down a bunt, but the throw from Porter to first base went down the right field line allowing Coles to score all the way from first.
Goodwin came up next and hit a towering fly ball to deep left field that on a calm day would have easily left the park, instead it one-hopped the fence and Goodwin ended up on third with an RBI triple.
Alyssa Crumley and Martin each added RBI singles to give the Panthers a 4-0 lead.
"The girls just got it together," Martin said of the third inning rally. "They made that throwing error on a bunt that kind of set the table for us and we took advantage of that and I was happy about that."
But the four run lead would be challenged by the Indians in each of the next two innings as they loaded the bases in each inning.
And while the Indians had their chances to score, they were unable to get the big hit off of Martin.
Martin pitched out of a bases loaded, two out jam in the fourth when she got Tawny Hall to groundout to third to end the inning.
After allowing the first two runners to reach base Martin got the next two hitters out, but back-to-back errors allowed the Indians to score the only run of the game.
"Raegan did a good job of coming back and hitting her spots," Martin said. "She is a senior, and that experience makes a big difference. And she had a grab support team behind her today."
Martin pitched a complete game striking out five and allowing four hits.
Goodwin, Martin and Crumley each had a hit and an RBI to lead the Panthers.
"I am very pleased with the way the girls are playing this week," Martin said. "We still have two more games this week, so along as we continue to improve we will get better."
Snake River (4-0) hosts South Fremont on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Snake River 4, Preston 1
Preston 000 010 0 — 1 5 1
Snake River 004 000 x — 4 5 3
Preston — Porter, H. Swan (4) and Talbot. Snake River — Raegan Martin and Kara Polatis. 2B — Piper Coles (SR). 3B — Wheat ( P), Sara Goodwin (SR).