Rangers’ comeback effort falls just shy

Photo by Jimmy Lafakis/The Herald
Forest Park freshman Avery Riley (23) reacts after hitting a home run during the seventh inning of Friday evening's contest against South Knox in Bretzville. The Rangers lost, 12-9.


BRETZVILLE — Forest Park (3-8) surrendered nine runs in the first five innings of Friday evening’s contest against South Knox. Once Rangers freshman Brooke Rasche flipped the script with a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth, Forest Park turned the entire game on its head.

The Rangers eventually lost the 12-9 decision, but head coach Kelly Schroering lauded the squad’s tenacity.

“Up until our last out, I felt good about coming back,” Schroering said. “For us, it’s just having that confidence all throughout the game.”

Forest Park racked up seven runs in the bottom of the fifth frame. After Rasche ripped the double to left field, sophomore Macey Geyer followed with an RBI double to center field. Rangers junior Ali Welp added more excitement with a stand-up triple to right. She hustled home after an errant South Knox throw skipped past third base.

The third-base dugout hollered in delight after Welp scored, but the Rangers were not finished. Sophomore Lydia Betz knocked in two more runs with a two-out double to left field. The damage was done, and Forest Park cut the deficit to 9-7.

“We’re a good hitting team,” Schroering said. “I’ll take us against lots of other teams hitting the ball. It’s just stepping up to the plate and believing they can. Seeing their teammates do it gives them more confidence. It just keeps building for us. That’s what I think happened tonight. Once one person got it, we were like, ‘OK, we can do it. We’ve got this.’ They have good approaches.”

South Knox scratched across two runs in the top of the sixth inning. Welp added to her 3-for-4 evening with a sharp RBI single to center field in the bottom of the sixth. She was the only Ranger to accumulate three hits.

Trailing 11-8, Forest Park allowed one run in the top of the seventh inning. Rangers freshman Avery Riley led off the bottom of the frame with a towering solo shot to left field.

“It’s good to see her have confidence and hit one yard,” Schroering said. “She’s capable of doing that, for sure.”

Forest Park threatened, but could not push across any more runs in the seventh inning. The box score featured some intriguing statistics on both sides. The teams combined for 23 hits, and the Rangers held a 13-10 advantage in that department.

Welp, Betz and Rasche drove in two runs apiece for Forest Park. Riley and Welp tied for the team lead in total bases — both Rangers racked up five.

“I believe they can do it,” Schroering said. “We’re a small but mighty team. I told them, 'I'd take all 11 of you in a battle. If we were having a dogfight, I'd take you.' They just have to believe that themselves and have that confidence on the defensive end. We’re still working. We’re just trying to build them up.”

Forest Park plays on Monday at Loogootee.

“They’re a good, solid team for us to play,” Schroering said. “It’s another opportunity for us to get a victory. We’ll take it. It’s nice to be out here playing and having fun. We have four games next week that we’re going to be ready for.”

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