Depleted lineup leaves Rangers with 3-0 loss
Estacadas softball team competes down a player and falls to Corbett in final nonleague tune-up
Estacadas softball team found itself at a disadvantage before the first pitch was thrown Monday against 3A power Corbett. The Rangers were already missing several varsity players, who were out of town to begin spring break, and another was unable to play after aggravating a knee injury during pre-game warm-ups. That left the Rangers a player short of a full lineup. Technically, the game should have resulted in a forfeit, but the Corbett coaches agreed to let the game go on, even waiving its right to an automatic out when the missing player came up in the Rangers batting order.
Their coach was very gracious with our situation, Estacada coach Mike Bilyeu said. Of course we had girls running all over the place, and any ball hit up the middle was going to get through.
The Rangers shifted positions, basically playing without a center fielder.
Despite the hole in the defense, Estacada held its own early.
The Rangers put down a threat in the first inning when pitcher Sylvia Hill put down one batter with a high strike and followed by cleanly fielding a grounder in the pitchers circle to strand runners at second and third.
Corbett went down in order in the second inning, highlighted when Emma Burke charged down the third-base line to scoop up a soft bouncer. She fired across the infield where Bailey Hill stretched out to make the out at first base, keeping her foot on the bag despite falling to the turf to send the lead-off hitter to the dugout.
Sylvia Hill followed with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
We played some pretty good ball today, Bilyeu said. Sylvia pitched a great game, and we made some good defensive plays.
The Rangers had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the second when Madison Haga connected on a lead-off single, stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice ground ball. But Corbett pitcher Lindsay Miller struck out the next batter to keep the game scoreless.
The Cardinals broke through in the third inning by launching some hits into the depleted outfield. Lindsay Miller punched a two-out RBI-triple through the middle, and Kaylyn Hooley followed with an RBI-double that dropped inches inside the right-field line.
Estacada avoided further damage when Burke scooped a one-hopper inches off the turf and fired to first to beat the runner by half a step.
Haga led off the fourth inning with her second single of the day this time sending a shot down the third-base line. She moved into scoring position, but Corbett ended the threat when Miller came quickly out of the pitchers circle to field a spinner in front of the plate. She quickly turned her body and fired to first to beat the runner by half a step.
Corbett gained some breathing room in the fifth when Miller laid down a soft bunt that allowed Alisha Dearixon to sprint home from third base, crossing over the plate a step ahead of the catcher as Stormi Ranes waved her mitt through the air.
We have good pitching and defense that kept us in the game, Corbett coach Bill Wilson said. After that it was just a matter of us coming through the lineup again, getting runners on base and driving them in.
The Cardinals broke the game open in the sixth inning when they put their first four hitters on base.
A series of RBI-singles moved the score to 8-0 when a collision at first base left players from each side rolling on the turf. Estacadas Bailey Hill suffered a head injury on the play, leaving the Rangers two players short and prompting the umpire to call the game short.
The Rangers (1-6) begin the Tri-Valley League schedule at home Tuesday, April 2, against Gladstone.