That certainly was the case Friday afternoon in Columbus, as fifth-seeded Reinhardt opened the NAIA World Series with a 6-0 victory over St. Gregory’s (Okla.).
Reinhardt coach Glen Crawford said the Lady Eagles (45-8) have been playing complete softball for several games now.
“We have had people come off the bench and get a key walk or a key hit,” Crawford said in a university release.
The coach referenced a pinch-hit double by Maddie Evans in the fifth inning, which gave the Lady Eagles a pair of insurance runs.
“She came up and did a great job,” Crawford said. “I told her we were going to need her sometime this week.”
Reinhardt got on the board with two runs in the first inning. It added two more in both the fifth and seventh innings, as former Creekview High School standout Madison Luck dominated from inside the circle.
Luck (35-2) went the distance, allowing just three hits and three walks. She only struck out one, instead getting a majority of her outs on contact.
Katie Rietkovich got the offense started for Reinhardt when a one-out double in the first inning. Randi Wimpy was then hit by a pitch before C.J. Browder singled through the right side. Rietkovich scored easily on the play, but Wimpy was caught trying to advance to third.
Kaley Garmon, the next batter, reached on an error, allowing Browder to score from second.
After failing to score with the bases loaded in the fourth inning, Reinhardt went back to work in the fifth.
Wimpy’s one-out single through the left side got the Lady Eagles started. After Browder singled, Evans entered as a pinch-hitter and singled to left, driving in both Wimpy and Browder.
The Lady Eagles added their final runs in similar fashion. With Wimpy on third and Browder on second, Garmon singled through the left side with one out. Wimpy scored, and then Browder followed on the next at-bat.
Rietkovich was 3-for-4 with a run, while Browder was 2-for-4 with two walks and three runs scored. Wimpy drew three walks.
Crawford said Browder benefited from the walks drawn by Wimpy, as she was usually given good pitches to hit.
“It was a good team effort, and a good team win,” Crawford said.
With the win, the Lady Eagles remain in the winners’ bracket. They will not play again until Monday at 4 p.m., when they face the winner of today’s game between No. 1 LSU Alexandria and No. 8 Oklahoma City.