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Roane, Ravenswood sectional fun
May 7, 2014 - Jay Bennett
Perhaps they deserved a better fate, but nonetheless I was honored to cover Roane County's final two softball games of the season at Ritchie County during the Class AA sectional tournament. The first was a tough 2-1 setback to the host Rebels and the second was a crushing 8-6 loss to Ravenswood.
It was the final hurrah for a group of six Raider seniors — Kasey Blosser, Casey Lassiter, Miranda Hall, Shania Lloyd, Shyanne Starcher and Allie Price.
Head coach Sam Salvucci's club almost stunned Ritchie County in the opener, but came up just short. Lassiter gave a gutsy effort from the rubber, allowing six hits and one earned run while walking two and fanning four. She even managed to hang an 0 for 2 tag on Ritchie County all-stater Kenna DeLancey, who did draw a free pass and swipe a base, though.
Obviously, next year the Raiders are going to miss the right arm of Lassiter, who won 23 games this season and is the all-time Roane County career leader in pitching victories. The 25 wins for Roane County this year marked a school record everyone can be proud of.
Only a freshman, I was thoroughly impressed with Raider shortstop Alora Lloyd. She showed great range and smooth hands while handling several chances.
In the elimination game against Ravenswood, I don't recall seeing a more crazy span of six outs than what I witnessed from the bottom of the second to the top of the third. Each team made three errors, but it wasn't due to a lack of hustle.
I have to admit I can't recall the last time I saw a walk-off home run in softball, but Ravenswood's Savana Casto did just that.
Earlier in the game after throwing a wild pitch in the third inning, Casto raced to the plate in hopes of tagging out Raider Hailey Gibson, who eventually scored. However, when Gibson made her slide Casto went down hard and it looked like she might not return.
However, not only did she return, but she limited Roane County to just one run during the next four frames. Although her two-out double in the fifth didn't lead to anything, I had a feeling Ravenswood was going to end things in the bottom of the seventh with the top of the order up.
That proved to be true as leadoff hitter Ariana Kennedy reached on an infield single and one out later on the first pitch she saw from Lassiter, Casto launched an opposite-field two-run walk-off homer to right-center. I think Kennedy was a little bit in shock and Casto obviously quite pumped up as Casto nearly caught Kennedy before she was even halfway toward second base.
Casto took a deliberate trot around the bases before getting mugged by teammates at home. After the day she had, I wouldn't have blamed her if she just walked slowly because I never thought she'd return after going down trying to cover the plate after her wild pitch.
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