ST. JOHNSBURY- Down by five runs entering the final inning, and weary from over four hours of play, the Lake Region Rangers Babe Ruth softball team rallied for seven runs to take a 17-15 decision over the St. Johnsbury Dodgers at Leonard’s Field in St. J. Saturday afternoon.
The Rangers-Dodgers match-up was the second of a two-team doubleheader for the Rangers, who squeaked by the St. Johnsbury Red Sox 9-8 earlier in the day.
In game two, the Dodgers jumped out to a quick 8-1 lead. Jordyn Cowles’ 2-run single keyed a 5-run fifth inning to bring the visitors to within two at 8-6. Singles by Alyssa Royer, Sarah Burnham, and Brittney Lantagne set the table for another big hit by Cowles to put LR up 10-9 in the top half of the 6th. The Dodgers fought back with six of their own and seemingly had the Rangers put away with a 15-10 lead heading into the final frame. But the Rangers weren’t done, and pesky at bats by Lantagne, Haley Kennedy and Royer keyed the Rangers 7-run uprising for a final 17-15 victory.
Hannah Leroux picked up the win in the circle, striking out 7 and allowing 5 hits in five innings of relief.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Corrina Cota jacked a home run over the centerfield fence to highlight a tight 9-8 victory over the previously undefeated Red Sox.
“I’ve coached youth teams here for 12 years, and have been umpiring for 5 years since then, and I’ve never seen a girl take a ball out of here,” said one bystander in attendance.
Down 4-3 heading into the 5th, LR scored three to move ahead 6-4. St. J. put up single digits in the 5th and 6th to tie it up 6-6 heading into the final inning of play. LR would score three in the top half of the 7th to regain the lead at 9-6. Cota and Burnham each rapped their fourth hits of the game to set the table for Leroux, who brought them both in with a sharp single to left. The Red Sox plated two in the bottom of the 7th to inch within one run at 9-8 and had the bases loaded before winning pitcher Burnham induced a pop out to end the threat.
In a statistical oddity, the LR pitching tandem of Leroux and Burnham carried a no-hitter into the 7th inning, (finishing with a one-hitter), but walked 22 Red Sox batters. Conversely, the Rangers won despite not drawing a single free pass from St. J. pitcher Kayla Allard.
Burnham reached base all 9 of her at bats on the day, slapping 6 hits and drawing 3 walks.
The Rangers move to 5-0 on the season, and will play the Lyndon A’s, Lyndon Orioles, and St. J. Red Sox (again) this week.