The outside corner of the plate produced strikeout after strikeout for Oakland sophomore Lacie Rinus Tuesday night, as she pitched a two-hitter en route to the Lady Patriots’ 2-0 win against rival Riverdale.
Only one Riverdale player – Brooklyn Pendergrast – managed to get a hit off Rinus, as she finished with just two singles. Rinus stymied the rest of the Lady Warriors’ lineup all game.
“I tried to place it where they couldn’t hit it as good,” Rinus said. “I knew my defense had my back.”
Rinus threw her riseball and change-up perfectly on the outside part of the plate for called third strikes all game long.
She finished with eight strikeouts, four of them on called third strikes. She didn’t walk any batters.
“I think she pitched a gem tonight,” Oakland coach Janice Morey said. “She controlled the ball really well. Her riseball was very effective up in the zone, instead of being out of the zone. We were telling our girls to toe up the plate, to scoot up, because the outside pitch was being called, and obviously Lacie was able to take advantage of that outside pitch.”
It was a completely different result from the last time Oakland (35-13, in 8-2 District 7-AAA) and Riverdale (28-9, 6-4) played on March 29. The Lady Warriors pounded 17 hits off Rinus and defeated Oakland 9-0 less than one month ago.
“We just didn’t hit,” Riverdale coach Christy Bingham said. “I think once they got two runs, our kids kind of got back on their heels and they just didn’t swing loose, so they just didn’t hit like they usually do.”
After giving up four runs due to errors Monday in a 4-3 loss, Oakland was the beneficiary of errors in the win. The Lady Patriots scored their runs in the fourth inning after a crucial Riverdale miscue.
With one out, Abby Sargent singled and Savannah Lee hit into a fielder’s choice. Maleia Gray doubled off the left-field fence, moving Lee to third.
Then Holly Shirey hit a grounder to Pendergrast, which went under her glove and into right field, allowing both runners to score on the error.
That was the only run support Rinus needed. After Pendergrast’s leadoff hit to begin the game, Rinus retired six straight batters. Jurnee Neal reached due to an error, then Rinus retired 10 straight batters before Pendergrast’s single in the sixth.
The Lady Warriors’ only scoring threat came in the sixth inning, when Pendergrast singled with one out. She moved to second on Kristin Uselton’s ground out to shortstop.
Caylee Porter then struck out, but reached on a dropped third strike.
That allowed Pendergrast to reach third.
Rinus struck out Emily Thompson to end the inning and leave the runners stranded.
Oakland 2, Riverdale 0
Oakland 000 200 0 — 2 5 1
Riverdale 000 000 0 — 0 2 1
Lacie Rinus and Savannah Lee. Kristin Uselton and Brooke McClure. WP – Rinus. LP – Uselton.