The Travis Tigers had a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning before the Ridge Point Panthers grabbed control of the game and the district last Friday night at Travis High School.
Ridge Point’s first seven batters in the top of the fifth inning scored as they took an 8-2 lead and went on to win 9-6. Holly Baker led off the inning and reached on an error. Pitcher Makinzy Herzog made the Tigers pay for the error by blasting a towering home run over the right field fence and the Panthers were back in the lead 3-2. Jade Merrell followed with a single, Abby Odneal reached on an error, Lauryn Banks doubled, Tamera McKnight reached on another error, and Taylor Soanes cleared the bases with a triple. When the inning was over, the Panthers had an 8-2 lead.
Travis responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth on a single by Mady Runge, a walk by Audrey McLaughlin, a hit-by-pitch by Caitlyn Goodeaux and a single by Skie Villani.
The Tigers made it interesting in the seventh by scoring two runs on a double by Noemi Cortez but Herzog ended the game with her 10th strikeout of the game.
Herzog has seven pitches in her repertoire, a fastball, curve, screwball, rise, drop and change-up.
“My curve was really good tonight and my changeup was really good. Early on my rise was working but it stopped rising toward the end of the game,” Herzog said.
When Travis took a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning, it was the first time this season that the Panthers had been behind. Herzog quickly erased that lead with her two-run home run. “It didn’t bother us to fall behind. I was confident we would come back,” Herzog said.
“Travis is a very good team. They have had a good season so far and I expect them to do very well in the playoffs. Anytime you get a chance to play a good team, it’s a learning experience,” Ridge Point manager James McClanahan said.
McClanahan tends to pace the dugout while his team is on the field. During the course of the game, he may have started a groove in the visitor’s dugout floor.
“I exceeded my step-meter highs early on in this game,” McClanahan said.
Ridge Point is now 10-0 and in first place in the district while Travis falls to 8-2 and is in second place. Each team has four games remaining.