A run scored off an sixth inning error was Just enough for the Troy Lady Warriors to edge the Sunny Hills Lady Lancers 4-3 and hand them their first Freeway League loss of the season.
Sunny Hills (15-7, 6-1) was off to a quick start in the bottom of the first inning after a Mariah Ramirez base hit drove in a run.
In the circle, Ramirez only allowed one hit through the first three innings to keep the Lady Warriors scoreless early on.
Despite Ramirez early shutout performance The Lady Lancers could not build on their early lead.
Sophomore pitcher Alli Ballister and the Troy defense denied Sunny Hills from getting any runners in scoring position for an extended period of time after the first inning.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Lady Warriors (11-13, 3-4) did what few league opponents have been able to do against Sunny Hills, take a lead.
Troy tied the game when a mishandled ground ball by Taylor Okada allowed a third base runner to cross home plate unchallenged.
Later in the inning it was pitching not fielding which made a difference on the scoreboard. After a base hit to load the bases Ramirez gave up a walk to make it 2-1 for Troy. The junior bounced back by striking out the next batter, but gave up another walk to make it 3-1.
The Lady Warriors were able to keep their lead going into the fifth inning.
Ballister retired three Sunny Hills batters in a row in the bottom of the inning to prevent an immediate comeback.
Ramirez, who leads the team in wins and strikeouts, returned to previous pitching form in the fifth inning and let nobody on base to keep it 3-1.
Coming into Tuesday’s game Sunny Hills had scored in double digits six out of their last seven games, Troy were able to keep the Lady Lancers far from double digits but made a few mistakes to that cost them their lead.
A Lauren Huerta base hit turned triple after an Lady Warriors outfielder had trouble controlling the ball cut Troy’s lead in half. On the very next play Sunny Hills senior Attie Landrum reached first base off a bunt when the Lady Warriors first baseman was unable to control a throw. While Landrum reached first base, Huerta was able to reach home and make it 3-3.
The game did not remain tied for long. In the top of the sixth inning Ballister reached based off an infield hit and was replaced by a pinch runner.
After a bunt to advance the runner, the Lady Lancers needed just one out to keep the game tied.
They were not able to get it before falling behind again. The Lady Warriors retook the lead when a runner from third scored after Taylor Okada was unable to cleanly control a potential inning ending ground ball.
In the bottom of the inning Sunny Hills came very close to tying the game.
With no outs and runners on second and third base Ballister walked Ramirez to load the bases.
Ballister did not let the Lady Lancers capitalize. The sophomore pitcher took control of the situation and after forcing an out made back to back strikeouts to end the inning without giving up a run.
After a quick top of the seventh inning, Sunny Hills has a final opportunity to keep their perfect league season alive.
As the bottom of the inning transpired the Lady Lancers put runners on base but had two outs.
Senior catcher Molly Grumbo, the team’s RBI and home run leader, stepped up to the plate to try and extend the game.
Just like in the bottom of the sixth, Ballister resolved a situation with runners on base unscathed.
The sophomore sealed the rivalry win for Troy with a last out strikeout of Grumbo.
“I’ve always been concerned about the Troy game, Troy is a good ball club,” said Sunny Hills manager Arthur Jarman on the loss.
Sunny Hills will seek to get back on track when they host Sonora on Thursday and makes things interesting for their final season rematch against rival La Habra. Troy will look to build on the rivalry win momentum against Fullerton at home on Thursday.