AMERICAN FALLS — Make no doubt about it, the Snake River Lady Panthers came to play on Monday afternoon as they split the day with a 13-1 win over American Falls to advance the district championship game and then falling just short in a seventh inning rally as they settled for second place with a 9-7 defeat to Bear Lake.
"What can I say? The girls battled all the way to the end." Snake River head coach Kay Martin said. "They came out firing in game one and took care of business and then even though we were down all the way through the second game they just never gave up and I think that it is a testament to the character of these girls. They just never quit."
Needing a win to at least secure a play in game appearance the Lady Panthers wasted little time in dispatching with the host Lady Beavers.
Alyssa Delaney got the Lady Panthers on the board with an RBI single. Delaney proved to be a very key cog in the game as she capped her 2 for 3 day with a grand slam in the top of the third inning.
The third was the clincher for the Lady Panthers as 14 hitters strode to the place with each of them reaching in the monster inning.
Chelsey Martin added a double in the uprising as the Lady Panthers scored 10 runs on 5 hits, while taking advantage of 5 American Falls fielding miscues in the fateful inning.
With the five inning win, the Lady Panthers then took to the field for what they hoped would be one of two district title games.
Raegan Martin got the start in the circle for the Lady Panthers as she squared off against Riley Lutz, the same pitcher who no hit the Lady Panthers on Friday.
"Raegan did an outstanding job," coach Martin said. "When she went out I told her not to try and overpower them or anything like that and just pitch her game. She did a great job of playing her game."
Martin stayed with Lutz for four innings of work as she scattered 6 hits, allowing 4 runs in her time in the circle.
Despite that, Bear Lake took a 9-0 lead into the seventh inning of play and that's when the Lady Panthers pounced.
Alyssa Delaney led off with a single to start the uprising and then an error by the Bear Lake defense allowed Raegan Martin on base. Ashlyn Wood followed with a 2RBI single to plate Delaney and Martin which ignited the Lady Panther hit parade as Katie Ogden, Erica Ramirez and Phylicia Lee each followed suit with singles. A walk by Sara Goodwin and a 2RBI single by Kara Polatis made the score 9-5 with just one out in the inning.
Delaney cut the score to 9-6 with an RBI double and Raegan Martin pulled the score to 9-7 and placed the tying run at second base.
The rally stalled there however as Lutz picked up her ninth strikeout of the game, thwarting the comeback attempt.
"Riley is a good pitcher, take nothing away from her but we knew that she was not un-hittable," coach Martin said. "We just kept telling the girls to put the bat on the ball and in that seventh inning they did. Unfortunately, they [Bear Lake] got a couple more than we did today."
The Lady Panthers still have an opportunity for a state tournament berth as they will play the state play in game on Saturday against the second place finisher out of the sixth district. The game site has been changed to Chappell Park in Chubbock and first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
SNAKE RIVER 13, AMERICAN FALLS 1 (5 innings)
American Falls 000 10 - 1 3 6
Snake River 10(10) 2x - 13 11 0
American Falls hitters - Ryan Holenfield 1-2 SB, Alyx Morris 1-1 2B R, Michelle Glascock 1-2 RBI. pitching - Riley Morris (L) 4IP 13R 8ER 11H 2K 5BB HP.
Snake River hitters - Sara Goodwin 1-4, Kara Polatis 2-3 2R, Chelsey Martin 2-3 2B 3R, Alyssa Delaney 2-3 HR 5RBI, Raegan Martin 1-2, Katie Ogden 3-3 2B 2R. pitching - Erica Ramirez (W) 5IP 1R 1ER 3H 4K 1BB.
BEAR LAKE 9, SNAKE RIVER 7
Snake River 000 000 7 - 7 10 2
Bear Lake 001 305 x - 9 11 3
Snake River hitters - Kara Polatis 1-4 2RBI, Chelsey Martin 1-4, Alyssa Delaney 2-4 2B RBI, Raegan Martin 1-4 RBI, Ashlyn Wood 1-4 2RBI, Erica Ramirez 2-3, Phylicia Lee 1-3 RBI. pitching - Raegan Martin 4IP 4R 4ER 6H 1K 0BB, Erica Ramirez (L) 2IP 5R 4ER 5H 1K 0BB HP.
Bear Lake hitters - K. Jacobsen 2-3 3B, T. Saxton 2-4, L. Peterson 1-3 HR 2RBI, K. Loertscher 2-3 2B RBI, M. Hemmert 2-2 (2)2B. pitching - Riley Lutz (W) 7IP 7R 5ER 10H 9K BB.