Bulletin staff report
GLADSTONE — It all fell into place for Ridgeview in the top of the seventh inning Friday with a timely single by Lexy Brown to drive home the winning run — the only run in the Ravens’ 1-0 Class 4A state quarterfinal softball victory over Gladstone.
The second consecutive shutout by junior pitcher Sara McKinney was the fourth straight win for Ridgeview, which advances to a semifinal game Tuesday at McLoughlin of Milton-Freewater.
With Friday’s game tied 0-0 heading into the seventh inning, Ravens freshman Alex Spencer hit a single to start the decisive rally. With Spencer on first base, Brown ripped a single. The third-seeded Gladiators (26-1) attempted to throw Brown out at first base but overthrew the ball for an error, allowing Spencer to score what proved to be the winning run.
“We’d been trying the entire game to (hit) good pitches,” Ridgeview coach Sandy Fischer said. “We finally did that in the seventh.”
McKinney struck out three and allowed three hits in a complete game for Ridgeview (20-5).
“Sara McKinney threw great today,” Fischer said. “And Paige Davis played really well behind the plate. Paige called the game and they were pretty consistent.”
Gladstone put the pressure on the Raven defense by getting runners on base with no outs in the bottom of the seventh. Following a timeout called by Ridgeview, McKinney and her teammates managed to work out of the jam.
“Whenever they call their own timeout, I know they are settling down,” Fischer said. “There was a strikeout, line out and a pop out. The pop-up was the last out, and it was by a young lady who had two hits off of us already. So we had to pitch (to her carefully).”
No. 6 Ridgeview totaled five hits. Kirsten Hawk was 2 for 3.