Rebels run-rule St. Mary’s, advance to title game

Published 6:01 am Sunday, February 14, 2016

Junior transfer Raven Campos belted a two-run walk-off home run as the Rebel softball team run-ruled St. Mary’s, 10-2, Saturday afternoon in the first of two games on the day at the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic.

With the win, the Rebels  played in the tournament championship game Saturday against Hawaii that did not finish before press time.

The Rebels (3-1) ended a strong performance in dramatic fashion, run-ruling the Gaels in six innings in game one on the day.

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Both sides traded scoring early, as St. Mary’s took advantage of an early triple and wild pitch, while Natalie Martinez punched an RBI single through the middle to even the contest at 1-1 through one.

The Rebels got the bats going for good in the third, batting through the lineup. Freshman Kylan Becker got it started with a dribbler to first before Hailey Lunderman shot a hard single through the middle. After she was out at second on a fielders choice, Martinez drove Becker and Miranda Strother home on a 2-RBI single up the middle making it a 3-1 game.

Sophomore Paige McKinney kept it going when she stole second, then took home on a double steal increasing the advantage to 4-1. That setup Courtney Syrett’s 2-run blast to left-center field capping the 5-run frame.

The Rebels added another insurance run in the fourth when Strother drove Lunderman home on a sacrifice fly, but the Gaels got it back in the next half off a solo shot to left field.

With a comfortable 7-2 advantage, sophomore JUCO transfer Elisha Jahnke made her Division I debut in strong fashion, getting two strikeouts to start, before inducing a groundout to third to cap a clean frame.

The next half inning Strother punched a two out single to left and advanced on a bobble by the left fielder, before scoring on Martinez’s bloop single just inside the right field line. That set the table for JUCO transfer Raven Campos, who blasted a 2-run home run to left-center field giving the Rebels the walk-off, run rule victory to advance to the Paradise Classic Championship game.

The Rebels split their two games on Friday, beating St. Mary’s for the first time,5-0, and falling to host team Hawaii 3-0 in the nightcap of their doubleheader.