River Ridge (2-0) was led in its home opener by sophomore Heather Williams, who pitched a complete-game shutout and allowed just four hits and two walks.
Opposite of Williams in the circle was Cherokee’s Savannah Dover, who struck out 12 and gave up two runs in a complete game of her own.
The game was a defensive battle early on, with the first inning seeing each side’s first three batters retired in order.
In fact, Dover struck out the first five batters she faced.
The game began to open up in the third inning, when Cherokee loaded the bases on two bunts and an error with no outs. But Williams managed to get the next three batters to ground out, getting River Ridge out of the jam.
The Lady Knights finally broke the deadlock in the bottom of the fourth inning when Kiley Rediger drove in Sara Bennetts to give River Ridge the lead.
The Lady Knights added to their total in the sixth, when a single by Katelyn Brack drove in Williams for the game’s final run.
Williams retired the side in order in the top of the seventh to seal the victory.
To River Ridge coach Scott Bradley, his ace’s performance is nothing new.
“Going all the way back to last year, winning the region and getting us through the first round of state, she’s been our workhorse and our go-to-girl,” Bradley said. “The best part is, she’s only a sophomore.”
While Bradley is looking for his offense to come alive in the next few games, he was pleased with his team’s defensive performance.
“I hope to score a few more runs, as I think we can,” said Bradley, one day after River Ridge’s upset of Class AAAAAA No. 6 Hillgrove. “But, if we continue to pitch and play defense like that, and two runs can get it done, we’ll take it.”