By Adam Burns, Sports Editor
Benedictine softball swept Tabor College in front of a large crowd at the BC Softball Field Saturday afternoon.
Students, administration and fans of all sorts saw the Lady Ravens win game one 6-5 in walk-off fashion and earn a more comfortable 6-2 victory in game two.
Sophomore center fielder Lindsey Proffitt went 5-for-7 with 2 RBI’s on the day. Her biggest hit was a leadoff double that hit off the left-center field fence in a tie game in the bottom of the 7th in game one.
“You want to talk about pressure mounting,” Goss said of Proffitt’s key double.
Benedictine left fielder Alexis Richardson, a Northeastern Oklahoma junior college transfer, followed Proffitt with a screaming line drive up the middle, scoring Proffitt from second to secure a 6-5 walk-off victory.
“I just wanted to get the job done,” Richardson said. “It was a good feeling to get that for my team.”
Oddly enough, Richardson recorded the final out in game one Friday with the bases loaded and a chance to tie or win it.
“She burned the ball and literally took the shortstop’s glove off,” Goss said of Richardson. “That’s what ended the game.”
“It was definitely a relief to come through,” Richardson said.
Starting pitchers Katie Ricklefs and Annie Turbyfill both threw complete games. The two each gave up one run in their first innings. Ricklefs settled down until running into trouble in the final two innings.
Ricklefs, who threw 111 pitches, blew a 5-3 lead in the top of the 7th. The junior pitcher surrendered a leadoff single off the bat of pinch hitter Chelsea Nutt. Kellyn Holt seemed to have executed a sacrifice bunt, until it was determined she left the batter’s box early. As a result, Holt was the first out and Nutt was sent back to first base.
Ricklefs walked Kaylie Felix on four straight pitches to bring up Tabor 3-hole hitter Araselly Vargas. Vargas, who finished the day 5-for-7 with 4 RBI’s, roped a single down the left-field line, scoring Nutt to make it a 1-run game.
Tabor’s Lauren Massey grounded into a fielder’s choice, allowing pinch runner Ashton Bowen to score and tie the game at 5-5.
The Lady Ravens (13-8) came through with the two runs in the final frame a day after they dropped two games to Park, 3-2 and 6-2.
“We shouldn’t have been put in that position,” Goss said. “But we were. The best response is to respond how (we) did.”
Turbyfill surrendered just two runs and six hits in her 97-pitch complete game performance in game two. Turbyfill also struck out four in an encouraging bounce-back performance. She gave up 4 earned runs in just two and a third innings of work against Park on Friday.
After allowing an earned run in the first inning, Turbyfill threw shutout ball until the 7th inning, when Tabor manufactured a run.
Senior third baseman Megan Eldredge began the scoring with a 2-out double in the bottom of the 1st. She stole third and scored on a wild throw. Proffitt and Richardson singled up the middle off of Tabor pitcher Tristen Hall. Hall walked junior designated player Kellie Bachkora and sophomore first baseman Chris Flucke, scoring Proffitt to gain a 2-1 lead.
Eldredge continued her successful day with a RBI double in the 2nd inning, scoring junior second baseman Sierra Esau. Proffitt drove her in with a RBI single to center, giving the Lady Ravens a 4-1 lead.
In the bottom of the 6th, Eldredge drilled another RBI double, again scoring Esau, and Proffitt drove her in with another RBI single. Eldredge and Proffit combined a 9-for-14 with 5 RBI’s.
“They have a lot of confidence when they hit,” Goss said of her 3 and 4 hitters. “They were spraying the field today and are very good hitters when they’re in their zones.”
The opening of the BC Softball Field is over to Goss’ delight.
“As a coach, I’m glad that this is over,” Goss said. “We were out of our game. I don’t feel like we played great softball all weekend.
“We played really tight because of all the festivities,” she continued. “And there is a lot of pressure because you want to open the stadium with a win and you’re not used to all the fans. So, now the kids are used to that.”
Benedictine hit the road to take on Missouri Baptist before hosting No. 10 Central Methodist in the Heart opener Saturday.
- Sierra Esau, who switched to the left side of the batter’s box this season, swiped three bags on Saturday.
- Ricklefs pitched a 3-run complete game in a 3-2 loss to Park on Friday.
- Ricklefs hit a solo home run in the 3-2 loss to try and spark a come-from-behind effort in the bottom of the 7th Friday.