The Class A No. 7 Lady Blue Devils look to beat Wilson at 1:30 p.m. today in Jefferson County to win a district title.
CORNISH — In his years of coaching, Ringling coach Steve Pybas said he’d never seen a display like the one Raylee Pogue provided.
The freshman hit three home runs and drove in 10 runs as Ringling beat Wilson 19-1 in five innings Wednesday at Ringling softball field.
The Class A No. 7 Lady Blue Devils moved to within one win of a district championship.
They can earn that crown with a win in a game that starts at 1:30 p.m. today.
Pogue said she had never had a game comparable to this one.
“I was just seeing the ball so well today,” she said. “I’ve kind of been struggling lately, so it helped a lot. The ball coming in, it was there.”
She hit a three-run home run against Wilson pitcher Courtney Schiralli to give Ringling (21-9) a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. She added an RBI double in the frame to stretch RIngling’s lead to 9-0.
In the second inning, her two-run shot gave the Lady Blue Devils a 15-0 lead.
She batted again in the fifth frame, and, on the first pitch, hit her third home run, this one a grand slam that landed about 270 feet away from home plate.
All three home runs went to left field.
Pybas agreed that Pogue saw the ball well today. He also praised the hitters who reached base, to give Pogue those run-producing chances.
“I think we’re playing really well at the right time,” Pybas said. “We’ve had quality at-bats, taken what they’ll give us and just putting good swings on the ball.”
Pybas cited Pogue’s success to her ability to adjust.
“Whether it’s a changeup, or however they’re trying to pitch her,” Pybas said. “Whether it’s inside or away, she makes really good adjustments to the ball. She’s a really smart hitter, but she sees the ball and makes adjustments. You might get her out, but you’re not going to get her out with the same pitch the next time up.”
“She’s something special.”
Ringling 12, Ryan 0 — Game 2
With Ryan’s season on the line, Ringling junior pitcher Angel Stoker allowed one hit in three innings, and the Lady Blue Devils’ offense invoked the run rule after three innings, winning 12-0.
Stoker and Kass Perkins each had a game-high three RBIs for Ringling (20-9).
Stoker drove in Britann McGahey, who scored the game’s final run.
Perkins hit an inside-the-park home run: The ball fell to the left of Ryan’s left fielder and traveled to the wall. Perkins never stopped running, and Ryan’s throw was high and wide left as Perkins crossed the plate.
Five other Ringling players contributed one RBI: Pogue had an RBI triple; McGahey had an RBI double; Kylie Christopher had a sacrifice fly; Kelsey Christopher had an RBI groundout and Whitney Lester had an RBI single.
Ringling scored five runs in the opening inning. London Lewis led off with a walk, McGahey reached on an error and Pogue scorched a single to Ryan’s third baseman, which loaded the bases.
Stoker opened the scoring with an RBI single, Perkins added one, too, and Kylie Christopher hit her sacrifice fly. Lester hit an RBI single, and Kelsey Christopher contributed an RBI groundout to give Ringling a 5-0 lead.
Lewis led off the second reaching on an error. With one out, Pogue hit an RBI triple, Stoker followed with a double and Perkins hit her home run.
In the top of the third, Stoker hit a Ryan batter, but proceeded to induce a groundout that produced a double play, as McGahey tagged out the runner on her way to second and threw to first to complete the twin killing.
McGahey hit her RBI double in the bottom of the frame, and Ringling scored twice more to invoke the run rule.
Ringling won two games, but Pybas has perspective.
“I’m proud of them,” he said. “We haven’t won anything yet. Both of us are 0-0 (today). We’ve just got to come out with a mentality that they’re not going to roll over. Coach (Callie) Brewer and coach (Bob) Richmond do a good job with them. They’re good kids. They’re young kids, but they’ll go compete, and we know that.
“We haven’t won anything yet.”