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Lady Rangers hold off Temple

Lady Rangers hold off Temple

Paige Smith and Sidney Garza highlighted a 10-run third inning on Wednesday by clubbing home runs and helping carry the Ranger College women to a 13-11 victory over Temple College Lady Leopards in Game 2 of a softball doubleheader at Ron Butler Field.

The win helped Ranger earn a split of the conference twinbill, and helped the team split its four Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference games with the defending national champions.

Smith started a wild third inning for Ranger by driving a pitch from Temple starter Marley Hilton over the fence in left field. Her fourth homer of the season set off a run in which the RC women would send 13 batters to the plate and reel off a staggering 10 runs.

After Smith's blast, Abby Luna, Garza and Illiana Salinas followed with hits to load the bases for Amanda Perez, who plated a pair of runs with a single. Caitlyn Rangel followed moments later with an infield hit. Luna delivered a key blow later in the inning. In her second trip to the plate in the inning, she ripped a run-scoring double off the wall that put RC on top 9-6.

One batter later, Garza blasted a home run over the wall in right and pushed the Lady Rangers' lead to 12-6.

Garza went 3-for-4 from the plate and scored three runs.

Temple had scored five times in the top of the third and held a 6-2 lead going into the home half of the frame.

The Lady Leopards, 32-8 overall, got two of the runs back in the fourth. Tiler Noyola highlighted the frame with the first of her two homers.

Perez added an insurance run in the RC half of the fourth. She led off the frame with a single and later raced home on a hit off the bat of Rangel.

Perez finished Game 2 by going 2-for-3 from the plate.

Trailing 13-8, Temple made a run in the fifth. Keyed by a two-run home run by Noyola, the Lady Leopards pulled to within 13-11. Maddie Weatherly brought the tying run to the plate with one out in the frame with a double.

Darrian Smith put down the threat, however. She enticed the next two batters to pop out to short.

Temple reeled off four runs in their final at-bat in Game 1 and claimed a tough 10-9 come-from-behind victory.

Ranger took the upper hand early in the opener. The Lady Rangers scored four runs in the second inning and held a 6-1 lead. Allyson Rodriguez upped the RC lead to 7-1 in the fourth by clubbing her team-high eighth homer of the season.

The Lady Leopards rallied. They scored four runs in the fifth and added another in the sixth en route to pulling to within 9-6 heading into their final at-bat in the seventh.

Down to their final three outs, Temple strung together four doubles and saw four of their first five batters in the inning score.

Ranger, which trails Grayson College for the final spot in the Region V North tournament by two games, will return to play on Friday, starting at noon, when they host North Central Texas College.