Riverside bounced back from a 1-0 loss in Monday’s district semifinal to beat visiting Madison on Tuesday, 9-2
With the win, the Beavers improved to 22-3 overall and 11-2 in the Western Reserve Conference and, more importantly, kept alive their hopes of winning at least a share of the league crown.
“It was nice for the girls to bounce back today after a tough loss to New Philadelphia,” said Riverside coach Bill Ross. “I was proud of the girls for coming out swinging today and even happier for the seniors to win their final home game.”
After being held to just one hit and fanning 17 times against New Philadelphia pitcher Julia Miller, the Beavers found more success against Madison’s stable of hurlers.
Riverside pounded out 13 hits and struck out just twice.
The Beavers started their hit parade early as Megan Lehner, Emma Kovalchuk, and Amanda Kolar each singled to start off the bottom half of the first inning. Lehner scored on Kolar’s hit to give Riverside a 1-0 lead.
Lehner singled again to start a five-run third inning.
Kovalchuk doubled her home and Kolar followed with an RBI single. Emily Lamos hit a single that left runners at first and second with no outs. After a fly out, Maren Kelly reached on an error that pushed the lead to 4-0 and Molly Binkiewicz tripled home two more runs.
Hallie Blackford singled to start the Madison fourth and she later scored on Emilie Blackie’s sac fly.
Riverside responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Kovalchuk hit a one-out single to start the rally and Kolar, Lamos, and Delaney Keith all followed with base hits with Lamos picking up an RBI. Kelly then doubled to close out the Riverside scoring.
Back-to-back doubles by Blackie and Lexie Nicholson in the top of the seventh pulled Madison to within 9-2 but that’s as close as the Blue Streaks would get.
“After the loss yesterday, we were motivated to come back with a solid win to boost our confidence as a team,” said Kovalchuk, who finished the game 3-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. “It felt great to get our strong offense back. I give a lot of credit to everyone because hitting is contagious.”
Kolar finished the day 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. Lehner and Lamos both closed out the game with two hits.
Emily Lamos picked up the pitching victory after allowing just one earned run on five hits with nine strikeouts.
Riverside closes out the season at Madison on Thursday.
A win would earn the Beavers at least a share of the conference title, provided Chardon completes its season sweep of Mayfield. Should the Beavers lose at Madison, they’d need Mayfield to upset the Hilltoppers.
“Obviously, we have a chance to share the WRC title, but our mission stays the same: have fun and enjoy our final game of the season together,” Ross said. “We love this senior group and want to enjoy our last game with them.”