VISTA Playing in an elimination game in the San Diego Section Division I softball playoffs, Scripps Ranch refused to buckle to the pressure for what seemed like all day.
Despite allowing runners to reach scoring position in four of the last five innings, the ninth-seeded Falcons managed to score the final run Saturday on freshman Lauren Lipe’s ninth-inning single for a 4-3 victory over No. 5 Rancho Buena Vista.
“Being a sophomore, I have to prove myself every day,” Lipe said. “It was the best feeling hearing the crowd screaming when that ball went off the pitcher’s glove.
“We’re a young team, but no matter if you’re a senior or a freshman it’s time to step up. You’re on varsity for a reason.”
Rancho Buena Vista (20-8) had the tying run thrown out at the plate for the final out in the bottom of the ninth inning.
“We practice hitting the cutoffs and our shortstop (Susanne Morris) came up big in the ninth,” Falcons coach Alexa Datko said. “We’re still alive. At this point we’re sending people home. That’s our goal every day now.”
Holding a 4-3 lead thanks to Lipe’s single that tipped off RBV pitcher Hannah Bailey’s glove and rolled into left field to score Kerri Ritter, winning pitcher Makayla Martin gave up a one-out walk and Britney Huerta’s single.
When Karisa Hughen’s liner to right was caught, Sarah Fisher tagged and raced to third base. When Huerta got in a rundown between first and second, Fisher broke to the plate and the sophomore was gunned down to end the game.
Scripps Ranch (13-16-1) took a 3-0 lead on Martin’s three-run homer in the fourth inning. Her shot cashed in Lipe, who was 2-for-5, and Michaela Prince. Both had reached on singles.
Scripps Ranch will play at Mt. Carmel in an elimination game Tuesday.