Former McKinleyville Panther Ashley Ballew is making a habit of getting clutch hits for College of the Redwoods this spring.
Just a few days after tying a game against Mendocino with an inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the seventh inning, Ballew was at it again on Wednesday, hitting a clutch two-out single in the bottom of the seventh to score the tying run against Butte.
The Corsairs would go on to win the game 5-4 in eight innings and end the conference-leading Roadrunners’ 12-game Golden Valley Conference winning streak.
The two teams would split a doubleheader at the Bear River recreational center, with the visitors bouncing back to win game two 6-0 to solidify their lead at the top of the conference standings.
The Corsairs trailed by two runs going into the seventh inning of game one, but rallied to score three unanswered runs to pull out the dramatic walk-off win.
Catlin Caughie and Kayla Pontoni got the late rally started with back-to-back base hits and were advanced by Brooke Faraimo.
Hoopa’s Nas-Che-Wen Hunsucker then drove in the lead runner to pull her team within one, before Ballew hit a chopper over the Butte first baseman’s glove to tie things up.
The Corsairs carried the momentum into the extra inning, with Fortuna’s Renee Metz driving in Kayla Cockerham from third on a suicide squeeze for the game-winning run.
Nine different CR players hit successfully in the win, led by Pontoni and Allie Egbert.
Pontoni was 2-for-3 with a double and a run, while Egbert was 2-for-4 with a run.
Kylee Dewey got the win in the circle.
“Kylee pitched an amazing game, giving her defense ground balls and pop flies all day,” Valente said.
Pontoni capped a big day with another strong performance in game two, finishing 2-for-3 with a double.
With the split, the CR women are now 7-5 in conference and third in the standings (17-11 on the season).
The Roadrunners, who are the No. 9-ranked team in the state, are now 13-1 in the GVC and 26-7 on the season.
The Corsairs can move into second in the GVC with a doubleheader sweep of Feather River (8-2, 15-10) in Saturday’s home finales, which get under way at noon.
The Corsairs will honor their sophomores before first pitch.