NEW PORT RICHEY — Fivay went into Tuesday’s game against River Ridge having never defeated the Royal Knights in softball and badly wanted that to change.
Put up to the challenge was Falcons pitcher Jill McElderry, who was challenged by an assistant coach before the game to pitch the game of her life. She did.
McElderry shut down arguably Pasco County’s best team, holding River Ridge to four hits and striking out 10 in a 1-0 win in a Class 5A-District 8 contest.
“It’s a district win, they’re ranked in the state and undefeated in the district. They usually go a long way in the postseason, and for us to beat them here is huge,” Fivay coach Greg Bollinger said.
Fivay (7-3, 4-3) scored its lone run off River Ridge ace Makenzie Goluba (12 strikeouts) in the top of the sixth, when Tabitha Stump collected her first hit of the season and scored on a double play.
Though the pressure intensified in the final two innings, River Ridge (9-1, 4-1) could not find the equalizer against McElderry, who struck out the side in the seventh to cap the gem.
“I threw the pitches that I needed to throw and trusted my defense,” McElderry said. “Our confidence is crazy high.”