A combined 49 runs were scored as the Rocky River and Lutheran West softball teams opened up the season with plenty of offensive fireworks.
Playing a double-header, the host Pirates won the first game of the day, 11-10, in extra innings, before the Longhorns rebounded with a 15-13 win in the second game.
Game 1 featured several wild momentum swings. The Longhorns (1-1) took a 6-1 lead after four innings, but the Pirates (1-1) rallied with a six-run fifth to go up 7-6, keyed by 2-run singles from Emily Satayathum and Lexi Aguilar.
The Pirates couldn’t make the lead stand up, though, as the Longhorns tied it with a run in the top of the seventh on a RBI groundout by Lily Thomas. After retiring the Pirates in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings, they took a 10-7 lead in the eighth inning thanks to a two-run double by Kristen Zak and a RBI single by Leslie Sullivan.
Rocky River had one more rally in it as it loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the eighth. Maire Kelly drove in a run with a single to center field, then Satayathum brought in another with a walk. In a favorable 2-1 count, Katie Mommers ended it with a walk-off, two-run double to left.
Both starting pitchers went the distance. Mommers wound up earning the win, throwing 150 pitches in the process. She allowed 10 runs (seven earned) on 11 hits and three walks and struck out six. Eva Leunger took the loss for Lutheran West, surrendering 11 runs (five earned) on 10 hits and six walks, along with five strikeouts.
Game 2 featured six lead changes and a combined 29 hits as the Longhorns went on to win 15-13.
Playing the role of visitor this time, the Pirates stayed hot by taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. But the Longhorns retaliated with four runs in the bottom half. After the Pirates went back ahead 10-4 in the third, the Longhorns rallied again with a big seven-run bottom half and reclaimed the advantage, 11-10.
During the third-inning surge, the Longhorns pounded out eight hits, including RBI singles by Makayla Spelich and Hollis King, a two-run double by Carina Cedeno and a RBI triple by Luenger.
A RBI triple from Kelly in the fourth inning gave the Pirates regain the lead, 12-11, and it would stick until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Longhorns rallied with four runs to go up 15-12. Spelich’s RBI single brought home the go-ahead run in Sullivan.
The Pirates scored once more in the seventh inning, but the Longhorns were able to shut the door. Sullivan got the win for Lutheran West, striking out four in 6 ⅔ innings. She allowed 13 runs (five earned) on 12 hits and seven walks. Maggie Hill took the loss for Rocky River after five innings of work, giving up 14 runs (13 earned) on 16 hits and a pair of walks. Colleen Meese allowed one run in an inning of relief.
On Thursday, Rocky River will host Normandy at 5 p.m. in its Great Lakes Conference opener before traveling to Padua for a double-header on Saturday, with games starting at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Lutheran West will welcome Parma today for a 4:30 start, then head to Berkshire on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.