Rebels stun Terriers, Cubs in 7th inning
Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, April 8, 2014
By RYAN ARENA
LAPLACE — Riverside picked up a walk-off, come-from-behind victory in its final at-bat to open its slate at the Rebels’ annual softball tournament Friday.
It was a feeling so nice, they did it twice.
After scoring two runs on an error in their final at bat to beat Vandebilt Catholic 2-1 Friday afternoon, Hailey Tassin’s seventh inning RBI double produced the game-winner in a 6-5 victory over Mount Carmel Friday night.
“It does justice to what we tell them every day. If you keep fighting and stay strong through adversity, these are the things that can happen,” said Riverside coach Kristy Hebert. “It was a big credit to our pitching and defense to hang in and give ourselves the chance to win.”
Riverside’s scheduled tourney game Saturday against Chapelle was rained out after three innings.
The Rebels trailed for almost the entirety of Friday’s game after Erin Crane’s solo home run in the first inning. The Terriers (14-3) then appeared close to slamming the door after getting out of a two on, two out jam when starting pitcher Nora Keehn got RA cleanup hitter Erica Delaneuville to pop up for the third out of the sixth inning.
A wild finish ensued in the seventh inning.
Tassin singled to lead off for Riverside (10-9), then Jaime Milioto bunted for a single. But a base-running error by courtesy runner Taylor Aubert left the Rebels with a runner on first and one out.
Madison Watson then hit a pop fly, but it was dropped giving the Rebels’ life. That brought 8th grader Briley Becker to the plate. After working a long at bat and fouling off a number of Keehn pitches, she hit a ground ball to the left side of the infield. An errant throw to first gave both Rebel runners the opportunity to score, netting Riverside the victory.
“It’s a really big win for us,” said Toni Hebert. “That’s a highly ranked team and we talked before the game about what kind of team they had. We knew it would be tough.”
Vandebilt Catholic coach Margeret Johnson wasn’t pleased with the errors but said that things shouldn’t have come to that.
“We left nine runners on base today. We left bases loaded in an inning with one out and we made terrible base running errors. We’re not focusing. We went through the motions and it showed.’
“At the end, we gave the game to Riverside We gave them their two runs and it’s frustrating.”
Kristy Hebert credited the bottom of the Rebel batting order for stepping up.
“For an 8th grader like Briley to step up like that against a team like Vandebilt Catholic and put it in play speaks volumes,” she said. “One through nine, you never know who will step up. It’s been this way all year long. I’ve got confidence in all of them.”
Toni Hebert going seven innings and allowing one run on seven hits and three walks. She struck out two.
“I had to keep my confidence up after the (E.D. White) home run,” said Hebert, who earned the complete game win on the mound. “I knew it was their big hitter. I was able to shake it off pretty quickly.”
Keehn went seven innings and allowed two runs, both unearned, on five hits. She walked one and struck out four.
Against Mount Carmel, the Rebels trailed 5-4 entering the final inning before rallying to tie and then win on Tassin’s double to the wall.
Toni Hebert went 2 for 3 at the plate and earned the win on the mount, striking out seven in seven innings. She allowed five hits.
Delaneuville went 2 for 3 with a double and one RBI. Tassin also went 2 for 4.
Riverside (10-9) trailed 4-0 early in the game.
After losing a handful of close games against upper echelon competition, the tide seems to have turned for the Rebels, who have now won five straight games.
The last three wins have vaulted Riverside from 14th in the Class 2A power point rankings to seventh.
“This could be a turning point for us,” said Kristy Hebert.
“It depends on how we approach it. Are we going to settle and be happy with this, or do we continue to drive and improve and use it to propel ourselves forward?”