Riverside bounced back from a loss in its season-opener on Tuesday with a pair of wins on Wednesday in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The Beavers opened the season with a 9-2 setback to Olentangy Liberty, but cruised to a 10-0 win over Padua and then won a pitcher’s duel with Elmwood, 1-0.
“It was super important to bounce back after a hard-fought loss to still have a strong start to the season,” said senior Delaney Keith, who was 3-for-5 on the day.
Riverside’s bats came alive in the win against Padua.
The Beavers scored two runs in the second inning and then exploded for seven more in the fourth.
As impressive as Riverside’s offense was, freshman Clara Granchi stole the show in the pitcher’s circle.
Granchi threw a five-inning no-hitter with 13 strikeouts.
“I was really excited to play with this group of girls,” Granchi said of her first outing. “I was excited to pitch and hit.”
Granchi struck out the first three batters she faced on just 12 pitches, and she went on to fan the first nine Bruin hitters. The 10th reached on the first of two Riverside errors, the only blemishes on Granchi’s stat line.
“We were mixing and spotting pitches,” Granchi said of her work with Keith behind the plate. “We worked throughout the game to adjust as the batters adjusted to different pitches.”
Keith’s veteran presence behind the dish may have helped Granchi settle in, but Granchi found her groove early and mowed down the Padua hitters.
“Clara hit all of the right spots and had crazy spin on the ball,” Keith said. “She can really adjust throughout the lineup.”
Granchi also hurt Padua with her bat.
She finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two runs batted in. Her fifth-inning solo home run closed out the scoring for the Beavers.
“It was an inside pitch that I could turn on,” Granchi said. “It felt good off the bat. It was very exciting to see my teammates’ positive energy throughout the game and at that moment.”
The second game proved much more challenging for the Beavers as they used a third-inning run and an outstanding pitching performance by Annaliese Davis to secure the 1-0 victory over Elmwood.
The win was the 200th of head coach Bill Ross’ career.
“I think it just shows how many good kids we’ve had come through this program,” Ross said. “You can’t get to 200 wins without great players and great assistant coaches. I have been lucky to have both.”
After pitching out of a jam in the top of the third, the Beavers manufactured a run in the bottom half of the inning.
Keith hit a two-out double and pinch runner Olivia Kalb scored on Makayla Boswell’s double.
“When I step up to the plate, I am always hungry to attack the ball,” Keith said of her clutch hit.
Davis took it from there and blanked the Royals the rest of the way. She allowed just three hits in the complete-game shutout and struck out seven.
Adding intrigue to the Riverside-Elmwood matchup was the fact that Keith and Elmwood pitcher Madison Milligan are future roommates when they both continue their playing careers at Ashland University.
“We had the roommates playing against each other and she was obviously really good,” Ross said of Milligan. “That was a lot of fun with a little bit of bragging rights on the line with those two.”
Riverside (2-1) concludes its spring trip with a game against Medina on Thursday.