Raiders double up Centennial to stay in mix
Wednesday, April 24
TROUTDALE — Reynolds pushed across runs in four consecutive innings to climb out of an early hole and knock off Centennial 10-5 on Wednesday.
The Raiders got things going with a five-run spurt in the second inning, getting onto the scoreboard when Mikayla Buffington bashed an RBI-double off the bottom of the right-field fence. Several batters later, Megan Convery slashed a two-run single through the left side to tie the game, and a double steal opened the door for Hailey Burmeister to slide home safely for the go-ahead run.
Reynolds would not trail the rest of the way.
"You get that little boost of momentum, and you want to give the person hitting behind you a reason to drive the ball," Buffington said. "We just had to keep our calm and play our game, and that's what we did."
Centennial had a chance to get those runs back in the third inning after Kali Curtis saw a ball pop out of her glove while looking into the sun in right field. Centennial would advance runners to second and third when two more fly balls would head Curtis's direction. She made both catches cleanly to strand the runners in scoring position.
The Raiders extended to a 7-3 lead in the fourth inning when Burmeister fouled off five pitches before connecting on a lead-off single to center field. Two batters later, King put a bunt in play that crawled partway down the first-base line. Burmeister never let off the gas, cycling around to score from second base.
"It's just having the confidence knowing that we have the speed," Burmeister said. "Our coaches do a great job telling us where we need to be."
Centennial came up with four singles in the fifth inning, closing to within two runs before Raiders' infielder Vanessa Smoke killed the rally with a double play — the first out coming on her throw home.
Reynolds put the game out of reach 10-5 in the bottom of the fifth when Smoke and King each sent doubles into the outfield grass.
The win leaves Reynolds (16-2) in a three-way tie for second place with Centennial and Clackamas at the halfway point of the league schedule. Reynolds is No. 5 in the OSAA rankings.
"This is the best we've been in quite a few years," King said. "We are off to a good start and we want to finish it strong."
Buffington and King came up with three hits apiece for the Raiders.
Centennial got out to a 3-0 first-inning lead with Trislyn Schmelling and Ellie Greene each knocking doubles to center field.
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This story is slated for our Friday, April 26, print edition.