Another big night from Ralston's loaded lineup Monday helped the Rams bang out an 11-3, 5-inning Class B softball victory over Elkhorn.
The No. 8-ranked Rams scored six runs in the first inning and kept the No. 9 Antlers at bay until ending the game early with five runs in the final two innings.
Ralston had 11 hits and handed Antlers freshman pitcher Paige Renner her first loss in seven decisions. Winning pitcher Barbara Billingsley gave up just two hits and surrendered seven walks, but Ralston's defense committed just one error.
That came in handy as the Antlers stranded eight runners, including leaving the bases loaded in the fourth inning.
“When Barbara is throwing like she can, she's pretty good,” Ralston coach Landon Blanchard said. “We've just continued to hit the ball all season long, and that was a big accomplishment tonight against a team as good as Elkhorn.”
The Rams (12-9) were hot from the start as Kennedy Greene led off with a triple to right field. That jump-started the inning that produced six Rams runs on five hits and an Elkhorn error in 11 at-bats.
Billingsley got the first of her three RBIs in the first with a single that brought home Alyssa Anderson, whose ground ball to second forced the error that plated Ralston's first two runs. She also drove in two runs in the fifth inning that ended the game two innings early.
“We had a couple of hard but makeable plays,” Elkhorn coach Brad Beard said. “When we didn't finish those, Ralston made us pay with their hard hitting. That's what they do.”
Elkhorn (13-9) cut Ralston's lead in half with three runs in the top of the second inning. Billingsley walked the bases loaded and only one of the runs came on a base hit. The other two were on a fielder's choice and throwing error, and a sacrifice fly.
In the fourth inning Ralston freshman Taylor Sramek had a three-run, , inside-the-park home run after the ball got through the Elkhorn defense and rolled to the fence in right field.
“When you open with a big inning at the start that helps,” Blanchard said. “It helped with our confidence and allowed us to just go out and compete.”
Elkhorn (13-9) ............................ 030 00— 3 2 3
Ralston (12-9) ............................ 600 32—11 10 1
At Wager Field
W-Barbara Billingsley. L-Paige Renner. 3B-R, Kennedy Greene. HR-R, Taylor Sramek.