Riders Break WBL Losing Skid

St. Marys' Rylee Burd celebrates with her teammates on Friday after hitting a game-winning two-run home run against Elida.
By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Sports Editor

After 29 disappointing Western Buckeye League losing contests and losses in their first nine game of the season, the St. Marys Roughriders softball team finally broke through.

Seeing a five-run lead disappear in the sixth inning, trailing by one run in the bottom of the seventh, a game-changing play at the plate and a two-run home run lifted the Roughriders past Elida, 14-12 in eight innings in a WBL match on Friday.

“We didn’t get to 30, thank Goodness,” said Roughriders first-year coach Kendra Solomon. “For the team themselves, we have been trying to get over the hurdle. We felt that we needed this, that we needed this first win.

“For the program, it is huge to break that WBL streak, finally, but we still have a lot to work at, but it’s a great place to start.”

The heroine of the game was none other than junior pitcher and third baseman Rylee Burd.

Burd made a play at the plate to stop Kelsey Goodman in the top of the eighth inning from giving Elida the lead.

 

And with one out and Leigha Gilbert on second, Burd wasted no time sending the first pitch she saw over the fence for the game-winning blast in the bottom of the inning.

“I just wanted to get her out, I was thinking, just get it to me or it wasn’t going to happen,” Burd said of the play at the plate. “I just need to get on base or just get Leigha in because we just need that one run. Once that pitch was coming, I knew it was mine. The pitch looked great.”

The junior is a part of history. The Roughriders (1-9, 1-4 WBL) had lost 29 straight games to a WBL opponent, winning their last league contest against Kenton on April 17, 2014.

Coming into the season, the Roughriders had lost 25 straight league games and have won just five since the 2012 season.

The Roughriders have also suffered agonizing losses to Van Wert, in which they blew a nine-run lead, and to Shawnee two days later, blowing a five-run advantage.

In three games last week, St. Marys had lost a five run lead or more three times after the fourth inning.

But for one night, Burd undid all of it with a swing of the bat.