On senior night it would seem appropriate that the Lady Hawks would send their elder stateswomen home victorious, but on this night the Generals’ bats proved to be too solid, and Ridgewood posted a 13-8 win in a back-and-forth affair.
“The first time we played we only lost by one run, and we had every expectation that we could come in here tonight and get a win,” Hiland coach Jason Hazen said. “We hit the ball really well against them last time, and they came with their ace this game, and I thought we hit her pretty well.”
Ridgewood would hop on top of Hiland early on, taking an early four-run lead, but Hiland would battle back to within 8-7 heading into the sixth inning as Hannah Gerber continued her incredible pace this year by knocking out three more hits.
However, Ridgewood kept the pressure on, and its 16-hit barrage continued into the sixth and seventh innings, where they were able to build a 13-7 lead. Hiland got one run back as it took advantage of a couple of Generals’ miscues, but the game ended on a bang-bang play that went Ridgewood’s way at second base with the bases loaded.
“We had our chances tonight, and both teams swung the bats pretty well,” Hazen said. “Ultimately we made a few key errors that bit us, and we just didn’t play well enough to earn a win in a game that was right there for us.”
“It’s been an up-and-down season for us, so it was nice to get a win this close to the end of the year,” Ridgewood coach Kirby Shivers said. “We hit the ball very well today, although our defense was a little shaky.”
Shivers said after the tight game earlier in the year with Hiland, he tossed his number-one starter Sydney Zinkon on the mound to start this one, and Hiland hit her as well as it could have hoped to, perhaps hitting even better than it had in the first go-around.
“We wanted to give them a new look, but that is a team that can hit pretty good,” Shivers said of Hiland.
Zinkon picked up the win and helped herself at the plate by banging out a pair of singles with two RBI and two runs scored while freshman Abby Harding notched a save and contributed three singles, two RBI and three runs scored. Her much slower delivery to the plate seemed to keep Hiland just off-balance enough to stop the major flow of runs.
“We definitely had to make an adjustment for her slower speed, but I thought we did a pretty decent job,” Hazen said. “That can be tough to do sometimes.”
Ridgewood advanced its record to 7-14 while Hiland fell to 4-15 on the year.