Riverton • After three at-bats, Caylie Phelts was frustrated. Two strikeouts and a flyout will do that to anyone.
But in the top of the seventh, as Roy was down 4-1 with the bases loaded, Phelts dug in despite a challenging day at the plate and lived up to the moment.
“I just had to shake it off and keep my head in the game,” she said. “I just tried not to psych myself out and stay calm.”
The senior catcher’s three-run triple was just what the Royals needed to rally back for a 5-4 win against Riverton on the road in a blustery contest. Phelts’ timely hit tied the game, and she went on to score the winning run to give Roy its second such example of seventh-inning heroics in as many games.
The win over the 5A power Silverwolves gave the Royals, the defending 5A champs who have moved down to 4A, some momentum. They’ll take it — even if it drives their coach a bit batty.
“Sometimes I think they’re trying to make it as stressful as possible,” coach Mandy Koford said. “But if it proves one thing, it’s that we’re fighters. We’ll play to the end.”
Brandi Hall pitched a mostly brilliant game for the Silverwolves, recording seven strikeouts and only allowing one run in six innings of work.
As rain began to fall late in the game, Hall lost some control and was switched out for Courtney Platt by the seventh. But the reliever inherited two baserunners and couldn’t make the best of the situation, hitting Payton Palmer to load up the bags for Phelts.
After Phelts tied up the game with her right-field shot, first baseman Bryce Mitchell hit her home to give the Royals their first lead. In the bottom of the seventh, Roy starter Kenzie Kolb was relieved by Jamie Aiken, who retired all three batters.
Neither team broke through on the scoreboard until the fourth inning, when Riverton took a 2-0 lead after back-to-back hits.
The wet weather seemed to open things up as the pitchers struggled and defenders suffered a few slips. The Royals finally got on the board in the sixth as Mitchell scored on an error. The Silverwolves responded in the bottom of the inning as Steph Tyrrel and Morgan Varoz scored.
R The Royals earn their second seventh-inning winning rally in as many games
• Senior catcher Caylie Phelts hits a 3-run triple and scores the winning run