RIVERTON - With the score tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh with one out, little sister freshman Camryn Compton did what big sister Taylor did last year to secure a Lady Ram state softball Championship. She blasted a three-run centerfield home run to repeat as the Class 3A champions.
As a pitcher, senior Taylor Compton is already the Kansas state softball strike out leader. She struck out 11 in the championship game, and added 27 K’s in the three games to her impressive total.
The Rossville Lady Bulldogs entered the game with a 22-0 record, and Riverton compiled a 25-0 record. A super match-up was advertised, and the game lived up as promised.
Neither team could cross the plate in the first five innings. Rossville stranded three, and Riverton left seven on base. Catcher senior Sam Greninger and T. Compton singled in the first inning and were left. Taygun Higginbotham and Sydnee Donaldson were left in the second after a double and a walk. Greninger and T. Compton were left after they walked in the fourth. Donaldson was left after her walk. Rossville had runners at third and second in the second inning after a Lady Ram error, and a base hit. After a base hit in the fourth, the Lady Bulldogs were stranded.
With two outs in the sixth inning the plate umpire came out to talk to T. Compton. Compton then threw four straight balls for a base on balls. With a comeback to T. Compton she overthrew first base into right field to score Sara Shinn for a Lady Bulldog 1-0 advantage.
The Lady Rams came back and tied the game in their bottom half of the sixth. Freshman Lexi Pliler singled. With two outs, Donaldson reached on a third base error. Freshman Zoey Mitchell connected on an infield base hit to bring in pinch runner sophomore Morgan McDonald.
In the seventh inning, Rossville went three up-three down. Riverton led off with a single by Jaylee Hopkins, followed by an infield sacrifice by Greninger moving Hopkins to second. T. Compton walked before C. Compton had her three-RBI blast over the fence for the walk-off championship win.
Again, senior All-State Taylor Compton pitched a gem in the first game at the state Class 3A softball tournament in Manhattan. Compton had a perfect game for the five innings. She relied on her defense and struck out five.
Richmond-Central Heights’ Brown led off with a soft fly over shortstop Higginbotto’s glove. The Lady Rams finished the run ruled game 10-0 to advance. Compton went on to face 19 batters of a perfect 18, giving up only the one hit.
Riverton started with two runs in the opening inning. J. Compton walked, and Hopkins laid down a successful bunt. On a sacrifice fly, Hopkins scored. J. Compton came across on T. Compton’s single. Courtesy runner McDonald scored on C. Compton’s sacrifice fly.
The Lady Rams added two more runs in the fifth inning. C. Compton rapped a double, and Pliler walked. Pinch runner Daphnii Parker stole second. An overthrow on the steal occurred putting C. Compton and Parker at third and second. Higginbotham hit a sacrifice fly to right field bringing in C. Compton. Donaldson walk on a pitch over the catcher’s head, and Parker scored.
In the sixth, T. Compton, Pliler, and Higginbotham knocked base hits. Donaldson had an infield sacrifice bringing in C. Compton. Courtesy runner Danielle Weaver scored on T. Compton right field single. C. Compton finished the game with her double.
Riverton managed only two hits by Greninger and Pliler through the first five innings in their second game against Perry-Lecompton before a big sixth inning. They advanced to the championship game with a 4-1 victory. Greninger started the sixth with a solo home run. T. Compton and C. Compton rapped doubles. Pliler and Higginbotham came through with base hits. T. Compton had 10 strikeouts in the game.
What a state tournament run for the Lady Rams legend head coach Brian Mitchell. This was his 14th trip to the tournament. He coached the Lady Rams in state championship in 2009, 2010, 2016, and now 2017.
Assistant coach Pam Bevis has retired from Riverton this year. after 31 years of teaching and coaching. She was a very important coach in their championship runs. Coach Bevis also was the head volleyball coach for many years.