LACEY - Victoria Ness hit the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to give River Ridge its first fastpitch victory of the season and first league win since 2009, an 8-7 triumph over North Thurston on Thursday afternoon.
The Hawks trailed 7-4 going into their half of the seventh, but got three consecutive hits to start the inning. A couple of at-bats later, with runners on second and third, Ness put down an infield hit that scored the winning run, swinging on a 3-0 pitch.
“We had three hits in a row and had the bases loaded with no outs, which is a great situation,” River Ridge coach Jami Gore said.
River Ridge pounded out a season-best 16 hits, and also scored four runs in the bottom of the first to take a 4-2 lead before the Rams stormed back with big hits from Dakotah Haukum (2-for-4) and Victoria Ferguson, who was 1-for-3 with a home run.
Ness, the Hawks’ senior leadoff hitter, finished 3-for-5 at the plate, and freshmen Marissa Silva (2-for-3) and Kali Van Housen (3-for-4) also had multiple hits.
Kaylee Manley, a senior who had been the team’s center fielder the past two years, is a pitcher this year and picked up her first victory in the circle.
“She’s effective,” Gore said. “Girls have a tough time getting solid contact. For a senior to step up and pitch when that’s not her position is a pretty good sacrifice to make for the team.”
Capital 1, Timberline 0: Senior Nate Boatright scored the game’s only goal in the 25th minute, all the scoring the Cougars needed in their 3A Narrows League victory over the Blazers. The game was the league opener for both teams.
Boatright scored on a cross from 15 yards on the right side, over the head of Timberline goalkeeper Josh Briley, in the first half. Capital’s keeper, Court Schneider-McKinney earned the shutout in goal.
The Cougars, who advanced to last year’s 3A state semifinals, improved to 4-0-1, and resume play April 12 against Lincoln. Timberline plays River Ridge today in a nonleague game.
Olympia 81, Yelm 32: Senior Kyle Thies earned medalist honors, shooting a 4-under 32 at Tahoma Valley to keep the Bears undefeated.