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Women’s Fastpitch: Extra inning and park blackout cost new Ryerson team in season opener

By Daniel Rocchi

  • Rams force extra innings with late comeback in first game
  • Ryerson erases a four-run deficit with three consecutive hits
  • Park lights shut off mid-inning to deny a Ryerson comeback in second game

Making history took longer than expected for the women’s fastpitch team. The Rams lost the first game in Ryerson fastpitch history 12-5 in extra innings to the Queen’s Gaels on Friday night at Dieppe Park.

The game was close until the Gaels outscored Ryerson 8-1 in the extra frame. Trailing 1-0, the Rams took the lead in the second. Carly Forrester scored the first run in team history on a groundout by Kayla Batista before Azra Jessa’s flyout to left field brought home Hayley Graham.

Queen’s scored in the third to make it a tie game before a nearly 20-minute delay when play was halted until city personnel arrived to access and turn on the park lights.

After Queen’s took a two-run lead, the Rams equalized it in the bottom of the seventh inning as Jessa hit a double to drive in Emily Rickson and Forrester’s second run of the night and force a tiebreaker.

“It bodes well for our future, it’s a building block” said head coach Wayne Nishihama. “This team’s got heart. I think it’s very important to see what they’re made of and that’s what we saw today.”

In game two of the doubleheader, the Rams had a heroic comeback cut short by city curfew regulations when the park lights shut off in the bottom of the fifth.

Ryerson jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Rickson’s groundout scored Taylar Oats. The Rams extended the lead to two on a run by Rickson driven in by Kaylyn Shaughnessy’s single in the top of the third, but last year’s league quarterfinalists exploded for six third-inning runs of their own to take a four-run lead.

Ryerson rallied in the fifth inning after a walk loaded the bases for the Rams. Ryerson scored five runs on three consecutive hits, as Forrester and Jessa had singles before and after Graham tripled. Oats, Rickson, Shaughnessy, Forrester and Graham all scored, but their runs wouldn’t stand as league rules stipulate that only full innings count. Since the inning hadn’t finished before the lights shut off at 11 pm, the game ended in a 6-2 win for Queen’s.

“It’s actually tremendous,” said Oats of the results. “After playing these two games, we obviously see the things we need to tighten up on, things that we can work on. But it also gives us the realization that if we can tighten up on these things we can come back and beat some of the biggest teams in the league.”

UP NEXT: Ryerson is back in action with a doubleheader against York on Sunday, September 11 at Hendon Park at 11 am and 1 pm.

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