Lady Raiders knock out Lynx

Joey Payeur

It is not always better to give than to receive.
The Big Grassy Lynx handed the Couchiching Lady Raiders one gift too many yesterday evening—and the hosts made them pay dearly in capturing a thrilling 14-12 victory to advance to the semi-final of the Rainy River Women’s Fastball League.
Trailing 12-11 entering the bottom of the sixth, the Lady Raiders began their rally when Trish Smith led off with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch by losing hurler Candice Handorgan.
Misty Perreault’s single moved Smith to third before Erica Jourdain’s RBI single to right tied the score.
With Perreault at third and Shannon Blight at the plate, Big Grassy catcher Stacey Jack tried to catch Jourdain napping with a pick-off attempt to first after the first pitch to Blight.
But the throw went well wide of the bag and rolled into right field, allowing Perreault to trot home and sending Jourdain to third.
After Blight walked, Shae-Lynn Smith added some insurance with an infield hit deep in the hole that shortstop Lynn Indian couldn’t pick up cleanly in time to get anyone out as Jourdain scored to make it a two-run game.
Winning pitcher Darcy Smith buckled down in the seventh, fanning clean-up hitter Sheri Tuesday as part of her only three-up, three-down inning of the game.
Her wild pitch in the first
allowed Big Grassy’s Pat Green to race home for the game’s first run.
But the pitcher redeemed herself in the bottom of the first with the first of two two-RBI singles delivered by herself and then Perreault to make it 4-1 for the Lady Raiders.
Big Grassy took advantage of six Couchiching errors in the third to score five runs and take a 6-4 lead.
But back came the Lady Raiders in their half of the inning, with five more runs resulting from six Lynx errors to go up 9-6.
Tuesday’s RBI double in the fourth made it 9-7, but Darcy Smith preserved the lead with a two-out, bases-loaded strikeout of Allyson Findlayson.
In the fifth, the Lynx tied it on a wild pitch and a groundout. But again, Darcy Smith turned up the heat and struck out Dolores Copenace with Handorgan standing at third to halt the threat.
In the fifth, Blight singled and Shae-Lynn Smith walked before Jones beat out an infield hit to load the bases.
Courtney Easton then cashed in Blight and Smith with a double to left.
Tuesday scored in the sixth after a double to centre by Janelle Andy, who eventually raced home to tie the game on a fielders’ choice.
Then, with two out and Copenace up, another pitch got away from Darcy Smith to the backstop.
Karma Andy stayed at third and Easton fired the ball to Blight at second, but not in time to get Handorgan.
Blight then held the ball too long as Andy sprinted home to put the Lynx in front again 12-11.
Darcy Smith finished the game with a seven-hitter while walking eight and striking out eight more. Handorgan, meanwhile, surrendered 12 hits while issuing three free passes and whiffing four.
In the evening’s other game, the Redgut Babes ensured themselves home-field advantage for the championship final after posting an 8-3 win over the visiting Fort Frances Herricanes.
Morningstar Tom’s home run paced the Babes offensively while Lynn Windigo earned the win over Beulah Perreault.
The victory sends Redgut, which is undefeated in the post-season, to the final.
The Herricanes’ first loss of the post-season means a semi-final date with Couchiching on Monday at 6 p.m. at VanJura.
In related news, six women’s teams will gather at Onigaming First Nation for a tournament, which begins tomorrow at 9 a.m. and runs through Sunday.