Cedar Ridge senior Stephie Elliott picked a great time to hit her first ever grand slam.
Elliott smacked a home run over the wall on Saturday afternoon, and the top-ranked Lady Raiders scored eight runs in the final two innings to beat Vista Ridge 9-2 and stay undefeated on the season.
“Going up there, I was trying to control myself and not overthink the situation,” Elliott said. “I knew I only needed a base hit and I was just waiting for my pitch. A good thing about this team is we don’t settle. When we make a mistake, we keep doing it until we get it right.”
Both teams won on Friday night, as Cedar Ridge run-ruled Hendrickson 10-0 and Vista Ridge blanked Stony Point 5-0.
“Our kids have done a good job all season of hitting in the timely moment when you get runners on and in scoring position,” Cedar Ridge head coach Jessica Poole said. “We tried to be more disciplined and not just get up there and swing to be swinging.”
Vista Ridge’s Chloe Smith got the scoring started in the bottom of the second inning when she drove in two runs with a single up the middle. The Lady Rangers stranded runners on second and third.
Cedar Ridge answered in the third after an RBI single by sophomore Caylee Driskill.
“My kids came out and attacked first,” Vista Ridge head coach Lauren Myrick said. “That was our game plan. We made adjustments and played small ball and those were all really good things.”
Victoria McCann scored the game on the mound for the Lady Raiders and was replaced by Haley Hall for the middle part of the game. In the third and fourth innings, Vista Ridge could get players on base but struggled to bring them home.
Cedar Ridge loaded the bases with two hits and a walk in the sixth before Elliott went deep. The Lady Raiders kept up the pressure in the seventh with four more hits and scored on an error by the Lady Rangers.
“I think it’s about feeling those pressure situations in district play,” Myrick said. “It’s different from tournament play. Just experiencing those things and talking through what went on mentally and then learning from it. We know can play with anybody, and that’s what we told them.”
Vista Ridge is at Hendrickson on Tuesday night before and is off next weekend. Cedar Ridge hosts Round Rock Tuesday night and travels to face McNeil next Friday night.
Poole said Saturday wasn’t the first time her team has had to battle back from an early deficit, and pointed out a couple difficult preseason tournaments and a back-and-forth game against Liberty Hill, which Cedar Ridge won 6-4.
“I’m super proud of them and the ranking and all that, but I don’t put a lot of stock in that,” she said. “It’s all about how you finish. Barring injuries and just staying fresh, the sky is the limit. It’s a special group.”