RTR ends four-game head-to-head skid vs. Wabasso in section tourney

Photo by Kim Nelson: Russell-Tyler-Ruthton pitcher Kya Alderson throws from the circle during a Section 3A Softball Tournament game against Wabasso in Tyler on Thursday.

TYLER — The second-seeded Russell-Tyler-Ruthton softball team hosted No. 3 Wabasso, No. 6 Tracy-Milroy-Balaton and No. 7 Adrian-Ellsworth to open the Section 3A Tournament on Thursday. While the Rabbits had bested the Knights in the section tournament each of the last two seasons, it was the Knights that continued to advance through the winner’s bracket after the dust settled on this year’s first day of action

RTR 2, Wabasso 1

TYLER — In what proved to be an outstanding pitcher’s duel between Wabasso’s Avery Carlson and Russell-Tyler-Ruthton’s Kya Alderson, RTR finally got a little revenge against the Rabbits, who knocked them out of the Section tournament the last two years and has won each of the teams’ last four head-to-head matchups. Alderson notched 13 strikeouts, allowing only one hit, as RTR held on for a 2-1 win.

Alderson held Wabasso without a hit for the first 5 1/3 innings when Addison Hillesheim caught up with an Alderson fastball. She drilled it far over the left field fence to give Wabasso a 1-0 lead and its only hit of the day.

With Carlson pitching, it looked like the Rabbits were in pretty good shape, holding a late one-run lead going into the bottom of the sixth. But Alderson had ideas of her own. She hammered a home run to left-center field to tie the game.

With two outs, Daryssa Cruz picked a fine time to hit her first career home run, a solo home run over the left field fence to give the Knights their first lead at 2-1.

“That was my first home run, and it came at a great time for us,” Cruz said. “It was exciting and I really wasn’t expecting to hit a home run. We played well defensively today, and I guess it was our turn. It was a great win for us.”

In the seventh inning, Alderson made sure that the lead held up, getting two strikeouts, and a grounder back to her to record the final out and give RTR the victory.

Carlson tallied six strikeouts and allowed only six hits in the circle for Wabasso.

“It was unfortunate, a couple of pitches missed my spot, and they took advantage of that,” Carlson said. “It was a fun atmosphere, and that one inning got us. I am sure that we will see them again.”

The only Wabasso baserunner in the first five innings was Macy Rohlik, who reached on an error but was promptly thrown out by RTR catcher Laaken Baartman trying to steal second base. Through the five innings, Carlson only allowed singles by Madi Burns, Cruz and Brezlyn Buchert, and a third-inning double by Alderson, but no runs were scored.

“I thought we really played well defensively, and we had some huge plays, which was really fun to see,” Wabasso head coach Tiffany Eichten said. “They had a couple of hits when it mattered and that was the story of the game. We just have to do a few more things offensively. We couldn’t string anything together today, but we will move on to Saturday.”

RTR (19-3) will take on top-seeded Lac qui Parle Valley in the winner’s bracket semifinals at the Marshall Softball Complex on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Wabasso (15-7) will take on B.O.L.D. in the elimination bracket at the Marshall Softball Complex on Saturday at 1 p.m. With a win, they would play again at 3 p.m.

Wabasso 7, TMB 5

TYLER — Tyler – The No. 3 Wabasso Rabbits took on the No. 6 Tracy-Milroy-Balaton Panthers to kick off their run in the Section 3A Tournament’s Tyler Region on Thursday night. Both teams displayed solid defense, timely hitting and strong pitching, but Wabasso was able to score two runs in the fifth to secure a 7-5 victory.

The Panthers scored two runs in the top of the fifth to tie the game at 5-5. With two outs, Jordyn Hansen and Braelyn Kirk doubled to drive in one run. Melaina Ankrum then doubled to bring in Kirk to make it a 5-5 game.

The Rabbits came to bat in the bottom of the fifth and promptly scored two runs of their own to regain the lead. Avery Carlson doubled and Audrey Johnson sacrificed her to third. With two outs, Macy Rohlik was hit by a pitch, and Annabelle Struntz drove them both in with what proved to be the winning runs for Wabasso.

Neither team scored in the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, Carlson put the Panthers down in order to secure the win. For the game, Carlson allowed seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts.

TMB Eighth-grader Jaida Fricke took the circle for TMB. Fricke proved up to the task in a very exciting and close game, recording eight strikeouts and only allowing four hits and two walks in the losing effort.

The first inning started off great for the Panthers as Hanson opened the game with a single and Kirk followed with a walk. Ankrum drilled a hot ground ball that the shortstop couldn’t handle and both Hanson and Kirk scored. Ankrum later scored to give TMB an early 3-0 lead.

Wabasso answered right back in their half of the first inning with Carlson coaxing a walk and Johnson getting hit by a pitch. After a Rohlik RBI sacrifice fly and a passed ball, both Carlson and Johnson were able to score to make it 3-2 after one inning.

Avery Carlson struck out the side in the top of the second and Wabasso tied the score with a Camryn Irlbeck walk, an Alivia Olson sacrifice and an RBI single by Sara Carlson.

In the bottom of the fourth Wabasso was able to take its first lead. Annabelle Struntz singled and Irlbeck followed that with a line shot down the third base line that rolled all the way to the left field fence. By the time the left fielder was able to track down the ball, both runners had scored, giving Wabasso a 5-3 lead.

Tracy-Milroy-Balaton finishes its season at 10-11. The Panthers graduate two seniors in Hanson and Emma Chandler.

RTR 10, A/E 0 (5)

TYLER — In the opening round of the Section 3A Tournament, the No. 2 Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Knights played host to the No. 7 Adrian-Ellsworth Dragons. Things got off to a fast start for the Knights, as they put up three runs in the first inning, and continued to build on that in a 10-0, five-inning shutout.

Brekkyn Dreesen was in the circle for the Dragons, and she has had an outstanding year, but the Knights got to her early and often. The Knights were able to score runs in each inning en route to their victory.

Laken Baartman got the first inning going by hitting a lead-off home run, her state-leading twelfth dinger. After a Kya Alderson double, Madi Burns drove her home with a single. A Gabi Borresen sacrifice and a fielder’s choice allowed Burns to score, and it was 3-0.

Kya Alderson led RTR in the circle by striking out 10 of the 16 batters she faced. She walked just one batter in a five-inning no-hitter.

RTR got singles by Daryssa Cruz and Paisley Thooft to start the third inning. Then, Payton Johansen drove in a run with a fielder’s choice to give RTR a 5-0 lead.

Gabi Borresen blasted her first career home run over the left-field fence to give RTR an 8-0 lead in the fourth inning, driving in Baartman and Burns.

Alderson struck out the side in each of the first two innings. After Alderson allowed one walk in the third, Shandra Cuperus reached on an error. Kaylin Gibson sacrificed her to second, but Cuperus was thrown out trying to score on a wild pitch, with Baartman throwing to Alderson for a tag at the plate.

Kynsi VanderPlaats started off the bottom of the fifth with a one-out walk. Baartman singled and Alderson was intentionally walked. That brought up Burns and she ended the game with a single to drive in both runners for a 10-0 win.


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