When Ally Rily was called upon to take over pitching duties during the second inning Monday against Boulder City, she wasn’t quite thinking go-ahead home run.
Pahrump Valley (6-1) gave up four runs in the first, and the Eagles were in the process of adding three in the second, and with the Trojans threatening but not scoring in their half of the first, things looked bleak quickly.
All Rily could do was stop the bleeding. She did that, and then some.
Rily went the rest of the way in the circle, keeping the Eagles at bay until the Trojans could put together a 10-run fifth inning to take a lead they would not surrender in a wild 14-10 victory at Floyd Field.
“She had a great game today,” Pahrump Valley coach Cassondra Lauver said. “She goes in and gets the job done.”
For her part, Rily never imagined her team would fall behind by seven runs, a lead that stretched to 9-1 before Pahrump Valley rallied.
“We were not expecting that,” the sophomore said of the Eagles’ early success. “When we played them in our tournament this weekend in Needles, we beat them by two.”
Last year, the teams played one of the best games of the season, a 3-1 affair the Eagles won on a late home run. This year, the game took a bit longer. But Rily was undeterred by the early deficit.
“I still thought we were going to win,” she said. “We always have an amazing way to battle back. When I go into pitch I always have confidence in my defense and know that they’re going to back me up.”
They did, and while the Eagles scored single runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings, they never found a way to put together a serious rally after the second. Meanwhile, the Trojans’ bats were fairly quiet through four innings.
Suddenly, the home team came to life. An error and a hit batter helped set the table for the Trojans, who immediately began feasting. Freshman Deeanna Egan ripped a 2-run double, followed by a run-scoring single from junior Kaden Cable. A single and a sacrifice set up Kareena Nelson for two more RBIs, and another hit batter and another error brought up Skyler Lauver, who blasted a 2-run double.
That brought up Rily with two on and one out in what was suddenly a one-run game. Was she thinking long ball?
“Definitely not,” Rily insisted after the game. “My coach told me to just go up there and wait on the first pitch. Don’t jump at it, don’t just think you’re going to hit it. But I saw the first pitch was a strike, so I just took the opportunity to swing. I was surprised it was a home run, but very excited that it was.”
There were two innings left, but there was no way the Trojans were going to lose this one after a 10-run rally. They tacked on three more in the sixth, largely on Boulder City mistakes, to complete a wild home opener.
“The whole team was part of it,” Rily said of the victory. “Even the people who weren’t playing were cheering us on and being great teammates.”
“They just kind of decided we’re better than this,” Lauver said of the change of fortune. “Every single person on our team had some contribution to what just happened out here. If they weren’t up to bat, they were in here just cheering. Out in the field, they were making good, crisp plays and knowing where they needed to go and getting themselves in position for the next play.”
That was a big change from the early part of the game, when the Trojans made most of their seven errors.
“I think that we had a few defensive struggles, but then our bats just weren’t hitting very well at first either,” Lauver said.
Rily and Nelson each went 2-for-2 with three RBIs for the Trojans, who are 6-1. Next up is a 4 a.m. bus trip today to St. George, Utah, for games today and Saturday in the March Warm-Up Tournament before a Monday game at Chaparral. The Trojans return home Wednesday to face Virgin Valley.