As the temperature dropped, the arm of Ravenwood Lady Raptor pitcher Raygan Greer was just heating up as she led her team to a 4-0 victory Tuesday night at Independence.
The junior pitched all seven innings and finished with 14 strikeouts while giving up only five hits. Greer’s dominating fastball and tricky off-speed pitch gave the Lady Eagles little chance.
“She’s coming out strong,” nearly frozen head coach Cj Pangallo said. “We can just hope for a continuation of success for her - and she’s a junior. I don’t know what else to say about that one.”
The score was 0-0 heading into the fourth inning as a pitcher’s dual between Greer and Independences’ Taylor Johnson seemed likely to continue. The first four Ravenwood batters of the inning reached base. With one out and bases loaded, Lady Raptor second baseman Erin Johnson laid down a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt to bring in the game’s first run.
After Greer shut down the Independence bats again, Ravenwood’s Kendall Diehl launched a three-run home run in the fifth inning to set the game’s final score of 4-0. Pangallo’s senior clean-up hitter came through in the clutch.
“Senior hitter, it was her first one of her year, and she’s been working for it. She finally got what she wanted,” Pangallo said.
Greer was able to get help from her defense in the last two innings including catcher Madison Zoeller picking off a runner at first base.
“We played like a team,” Pangallo said. “We played well and didn’t give up. It’s all that I could ask for and we met our goals. They were ready to play. The girls are definitely eager and aggressive to score runs.”
On a cold night the bats struggled to get going for both teams. Pangallo pointed out the attitude it took for the Lady Raptors to produce runs.
“It’s just the matter of mindset and triggering the game mentality,” Pangallo said. “It’s the first game of the season against a district team so there’s always nerves starting out, but they came out and they answered.”
Ravenwood next plays in the Raptor Classic March 29-30. Their next district game is April 2 against Centennial.