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Saturday, Sep 22, 2018
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Royal Knights, Gators Have To Wait, Again

LAND O' LAKES - You don't hear much about vinyl record albums these days, since they have become relics of the past. But if the River Ridge vs. Land O' Lakes softball matchup was one of those oversized music discs, it likely would resemble the one with the strategically placed hiccup during a verse of your favorite song. The teams were set to play Feb. 12 at River Ridge, but Mother Nature opened the skies, forcing the game's postponement. The new date - Tuesday night - was scrubbed as a cold front collided with the Bay area's stationary warm, humid air. That meeting of the fronts caused heavy rains and thunderstorms and forced a second rescheduling. The game will be played March 25 at River Ridge.
"Let me put it to you this way," River Ridge coach Ernie Beck joked, "This morning I got on the phone about 9:30 - I didn't get in touch with Land O' Lakes Coach Jamie Martin - but I left a message and I said, 'Jamie, this is Coach Beck, it must be time to play Land O' Lakes because it's going to rain.' "It's disappointing because of the fact we both want to play each other, because we feel it's going to be a good game. It's a district game, and it also is a Sunshine Athletic Conference game, but you know what? If you can't do it, you've got to wait." The teams split the 2007 regular-season meetings, with Land O' Lakes blanking the Royal Knights, 7-0 in the first game. Four weeks later, River Ridge took the second contest, 10-9, on a seventh-inning single by Michelle McKonly. The teams met again in the Class 5A-District 7 tournament title game, and Land O' Lakes won, 5-2. This would have been the first major test for both teams. River Ridge (5-0) has outscored opponents 74-8, while Land O' Lakes (4-0) won by the 10-run mercy rule against their first three opponents. "Right now, it's just frustrating because I want to play," Martin said. "The girls are getting frustrated. You can only practice so much before you want to get out there and start hitting, get in some competitive games. Especially facing really good competition, and this was supposed to be our first pretty big matchup besides the preseason matchup we had. "We've been really looking forward to this. The tension always builds up with these games, the competitiveness." The teams will meet before the rescheduled game. The schedule has the teams down for a March 6 meeting at Land O' Lakes - if it doesn't rain. Before then, River Ridge will host Sunlake on Thursday, while Land O' Lakes will travel to Ridgewood on Thursday and Hudson on March 5. "Right now, they'd be over here warming up, getting ready for the JV game," Beck said, Tuesday, "but now it's pouring rain."
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