Ryan softball plates 35 runs in a dominating sweep
The Bishop Ryan softball team had no intentions of running up the score. But, there wasn’t much more they could do other than laying down bunts and just giving outs away.
The Lions simply outclassed Glenburn Friday afternoon at the South Hill Softball Complex in a pair of mercy rule shortened games. Ryan cruised to a 23-0 victory in Game 1 with senior Eden Kramer throwing a four inning no-hitter. Game 2 was stopped a half inning sooner in the bottom of the third, as the Lions got an inside-the-park grand slam from sophomore Emma Passa to conclude a 12-0 win.
“These games get a little bit long and are tough to play,” Ryan first-year coach Alec Grothe said. “But, we still try to put in our work. That’s the biggest thing is going out there and having good at-bats, playing well in the field and staying engaged. Our girls did a good job of that today.”
Ryan’s lineup batted around twice in the first inning of Game 1 to score 12 runs. They collected seven walks in the first inning and 11 total in the contest.
Freshman Nora Kramer hit her first of three inside-the-park home runs in the doubleheader during her second at-bat of the first inning in Game 1.
“We went up to bat the same way we always do and we just really wanted to hit,” Nora Kramer said. “I think we all played really well today.”
Meanwhile, in the circle, Eden Kramer didn’t face too much adversity. Her only blemish was a walk to Hailey Zurcher to lead off the second inning. She retired the other 12 batters who came to the plate and notched five strikeouts.
Every Ryan batter in the starting lineup for Game 1 had a hit and Eden Kramer was the only one who didn’t pick up an RBI.
The Lions scored their 23 runs on just 13 hits and were aided by four Glenburn errors.
Senior McKinlee Harmon went 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs. Passa went 2-for-3 with a double and also had four RBIs.
“One big improvement (we can make) is just staying through the ball and trying to hit the ball up the middle,” Grothe said. “We like to get pull happy at times, but our girls are getting a lot better at sitting back and driving the ball to where they need to put it.”
Selena Martinez got Glenburn’s only hit of the doubleheader to start Game 2 with an infield single. Nora Kramer and eventually relief pitcher Passa retired the next nine batters — eight via strikeouts.
“Our pitching has improved a lot this week,” Grothe said. “Our pitchers have surprised us — all of them from the seventh and eighth (graders) to our senior throwing. Every one of our pitchers threw this week and actually threw pretty well, which is nice to see because I know I have heard it from everyone that pitching is a struggle at Bishop Ryan. We are starting to prove that it is not.”
The Lions rested a majority of their regular starters in the second game.
Yet, Nora Kramer got Ryan’s offense going with another inside-the-park home run to open the bottom of the first inning. She did it once more, this time getting three RBIs, in her second at-bat of the first inning.
Samantha Hewitt had an RBI groundout to make it 8-0 after two innings. Passa ended the onslaught with a bases loaded inside-the-park home run, 12-0.
Passa, Nora Kramer and Taylor Hrichena all had two hits in Game 2.
Ryan takes on Westhope/Newburg/Bottineau next in a doubleheader Monday starting at 4:30 p.m. at the South Hill Softball Complex.
Alex Eisen covers Minot High School, Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.