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Ravenwood softball can't outlast Clarksville, falls in 10 innings

The Clarksville Wildcats scored three runs in the 10th inning to break away with a 4-1 win against the resilient Ravenwood Raptors in the Class AAA softball sectionals.

The loss ends Ravenwood’s (35-6) season earlier than they would have liked, coming one victory short of a state tournament berth. But praise from their head coach following the three-hour contest Friday night was the only thing they heard.

“I’m absolutely proud of this team,” coach Cj Pangallo said. “It’s tough when it comes down to just one game, make it or break it. I think we battled, we fought, and we took them to 10 (innings). A few chances we probably should have executed a little better, but overall all a group effort. We win as a team and we lose as a team.”

In the top of the ninth inning, still knotted at 0-0, Wildcat pitcher Heather Norris hit a two-out RBI single to give her team the lead 1-0 and placed all the pressure on Ravenwood. Ravenwood first baseman, Haley Barnette responded when down to the game’s final out with a solo home run to send it to the 10th inning.

“Clutch hitting, clutch timing to save us,” Pangallo said of Barnette. “She’s done that several times this year, so it was just a matter of whether it would be in this game or not. She is definitely a slugger and found her pitch.”

In the top of the 10th, Clarksville’s bats woke up and delivered three runs to put the game out of reach.

Both pitchers had outstanding performances completing the full 10-inning game. Ravenwood’s Raygan Greer and Clarksville’s Norris had 14 strikeouts a piece and put together a show that will be talked about by these schools for a long time.

The game was delayed 45 minutes due to rain and the rain flashed in and out during the night. However, it only fell as Greer was working. Greer experienced a heavy down poor in the 5th where she developed hand cramps from having to tighten her grip on the wet ball. While trainers searched for bananas and Gatorade to help her she kept pitching.

“She is a competitor, and absolutely tough,” Pangallo said. “She pitched one heck of a game and you can’t fault her for anything. She pitched through rain, pitched through (hand) cramps, personal injury and then we have the incident with the other team that we had to battle back through. She brought her game.”

The incident was referring to Greer’s counterpart, Norris. While facing the leadoff batter in the eighth inning, Norris called for time, and fell to the ground. Coaches, trainers and umpires rushed to help as Norris was experiencing an asthma attack. She lay in the infield for several minutes before regaining control of her breathing. Then, she decided to stay in the game, got the next three batters out and hit the go-ahead RBI the next inning.

“Hats off to her,” Pangallo said. “It’s not an easy thing to experience and then come back with, but she did a fantastic job just rebounding. (Our team) stayed focused. They definitely got sensitive and hearts went out to her. But at the same time our hearts had to stay in the game and what was at hand.”

The Clarksville Wildcats advance to the BlueCross Spring Fling state tournament and Pangallo had to send off her seniors for the last time.

“I love them. Seven strong. They’re competitive and they wanted it. It doesn’t always pan out that way.”

Posted on: 5/18/2013


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