District play no sweat for Lady Rebels so far

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 7, 2008


Sports Editor

Riverside softball coach Mickey Roussel hoped that the Lady Rebels’ rigorous pre-district softball schedule would prepare them for district play.

So far, so good.

The Rebels opened up play in 10-2A by winning big twice, beating Newman at home on Tuesday, 14-2, then at Fisher on Thursday, 11-1.

The wins represented Riverside’s (9-3) third and fourth wins over Class 2A competition, in which the Rebels haven’t lost once. This comes after playing seven games against teams in Class 3A or higher in their first eight games.

“Our non-district schedule is tough as can be. You just hope it prepares you for this,” said Roussel. “Thankfully, we were able to take care of business this week.”

    The Rebels led 4-0 entering the fourth inning at Fisher (2-3), when they busted the game open in the fifth. Riverside scored seven runs in the inning to make the score 11-0, setting up an eventual 10-run rule win.

Ayla Vicknair doubled with the bases loaded to provide the inning’s big hit, driving two runners home.

Vicknair was 2-for-3 with four RBIs to lead Riverside at the plate against Fisher. The Rebels had 10 hits overall.

“She’s probably been our most consistent player all year, both at the plate and in the field,” said Roussel.

Heidi Garcich (6-2) struck out five and allowed three hits in five innings to earn the victory.

At the plate, she went 2-for-3 with two doubles.

But as well as the Rebels hit the ball against Fisher, their performance on Tuesday against Newman (1-5) may have been more impressive. Riverside’s offense was relentless, scoring four runs in each of the first two innings and three in each of the third and fourth.

Newman couldn’t cut the Rebels’ lead within 10-runs before the end of the fifth, and lost by the 10-run rule.

Garcich earned the victory, but fell into some second-inning trouble, causing the Rebels to call upon freshman Chelsey Stein.

The two combined to allow only three Newman hits.

“(Stein) did well. She shut them down,” said Roussel. “Heidi’s going to be our workhorse, but it’s good to know Chelsey can do the job.

Marci Millet had a home run and three RBIs. Vicknair and Brittany Schoen each had two hits and two RBIs.