Lady Rebels finish second in district tourney
After scoring 26 runs in their first two district tournament games, the Riverside Lady Rebels ran into the 3AA-North's top pitcher, Rector's Tara Shepard, as the Lady Cougars shut down Riverside 7-1 to claim the district championship Wednesday at Rector.
Riverside managed their only run in the sixth inning when Amanda Dunigan, who had singled, scored on an one-out double by Whitney Shasteen. By that time, Rector had built a commanding 7-0 lead, dousing any hopes of a Rebel upset over the number one seeded Lady Cougars.
Rector jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, then added another run in the third before scoring two more in the fourth to take a 4-0 lead. The Lady Cougars used a three-run fifth to blow the game open and capture the tournament title.
Riverside had six hits in the game, as Dunigan and Shasteen led the way with two hits apiece. Jesse Mann and Miranda Stephens also added singles for the Lady Rebels. Sam Dunigan went the distance for Riverside, taking the loss, as she gave up 12 hits to the powerful Lady Cougars.
Rector was led at the plate by Jessica Hill and Skye Shepard, who each had three hits.
Tara Shepard pitched the complete game for the Lady Cougars, striking out six while walking just two, as Rector claimed the tournament championship and will host this week's regional tournament.
Riverside started the tournament by winning a wild 13-11 game over Walnut Ridge. The game went back and forth as the Rebels jumped out to a 5-0 first inning lead before watching the Lady Bobcats rally with a seven-run second inning, capped off by a three-run homer off the bat of Jessica Jarrett to take a 7-5 edge entering the third inning.
Riverside came up with two runs in the third to tie the score before Walnut Ridge regained the lead in their half of the third.
The Lady Rebels took the lead for good in the fifth with their second five-run inning of the game to take a 12-8 lead.
Walnut Ridge rallied in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three times, before Riverside added an insurance run in the top of the seventh on an RBI hit by Whitney Shasteen, scoring Jesse Mann, who had walked earlier in the inning.
The Lady Bobcats then went down harmlessly in the bottom of the seventh, going three up and three down, as the Rebels advanced to the regional tournament with the victory while ending Walnut Ridge's season.
Sam Dunigan earned the victory, allowing 11 runs on 11 hits, while striking out two and walking seven.
Riverside was led at the plate by Amanda Dunigan, who went 3-5 with three RBIs and a run scored, and Christy Goodman, who also had three hits and drove in three runs while scoring a run. Sam Dunigan had an RBI double and scored a run, while Miranda Stephens added a hit and Jesse Mann knocked in a run and scored two more to pace the Rebel attack. Tiffany Treece and Carrie Schoolfield also scored runs for Riverside. In addition to Shasteen's RBI hit, the catcher also scored two runs.
Ashley Hufstedler took the loss for Walnut Ridge, allowing 13 runs on nine hits while striking out 10 Lady Rebels.
Jarrett led the offense for the Lady Bobcats with a single to go along with her three-run homer.
Riverside then faced Crowley's Ridge Academy in the semifinals on Tuesday in a rubber game between the two schools, as the Rebels walked their way to a 13-3 victory.
Lady Falcon pitcher Kara Colburn was wild all day and the Lady Rebels took full advantage in scoring 13 runs on only five hits.
Riverside was led at the plate by Miranda Stephens, who went 2-2 with two runs scored. Tiffany Treece, Christy Goodman, and Amanda Dunigan also had hits for the Rebels with Treece scoring three times while Goodman and Dunigan scored one run apiece. Amanda Milligan and Carrie Schoolfield each scored a pair of runs while Sam Dunigan and Whitney Shasteen scored one run each to round out Riverside's offensive output.
Sam Dunigan (8-9) picked up the win for the Lady Rebels going all the way on the mound, allowing three runs while scattering five hits. Dunigan walked two while striking out one batter.
"I was really pleased with our effort this week," said Riverside Coach T.J. Eakins. "I was proud of the girls for making it to the finals. We got beat by the best team in the league. We are looking forward to this week's regional tournament and have high hopes of making it to the state tournament," concluded Eakins.
Riverside opens regional play on Monday at 5:15 as the number two seed from the 3AA-North. The Lady Rebels will face the 3AA-South's third-seeded team, the Lady Blue Devils of Hughes.