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Oak Ridge Secure Key Win Against Conroe in District 13-6A Showdown

District 13-6A Showdown of Undefeated Softball Teams Lights Up the Evening Despite Lightning Delay

THE WOODLANDS, TX - Tuesday, March 5, 2024

In a crucial District 13-6A softball game, the Oak Ridge War Eagles (3-0) secured a 3-1 victory against the previously undefeated Conroe (3-1), showcasing their potential for a deep run in the state tournament.

The match, held at Oak Ridge High School's Softball Field, began with a 30-minute lightning delay, adding an element of unpredictability to the game. Despite the interruption, both teams displayed standout performances from their pitchers. Oak Ridge's starting pitcher Savanna Conway tallied 7 strikeouts, contributing significantly to the team's defensive strength. Conroe's sophomore starting pitcher, Eva Lantagne (#18), had an impressive outing with 7 strikeouts, gave up 0 earned runs, and also made an impact as a hitter with a hit and scoring a run.

Both teams experienced some early-season fielding errors, but they also showcased outstanding defensive plays that heightened the game's excitement. The turning point occurred in the sixth inning when Oak Ridge's freshman, Ava Bennett, delivered a crucial 2-RBI single, shifting the momentum towards the War Eagles. Key contributors at the plate for Oak Ridge included Adrienne Thompson, Ella Boyer, Cameron Mendoza, and Madysen Edwards, with Macy Browning and Ariel Redmond crossing the plate for runs. Notably, Ariel Redmond and Ava Bennett each recorded two hits, underscoring their vital roles in the team's triumph.

Conroe's effort in the top of the 4th inning saw Eva Lantagne scoring the lone run for the Tigers. Eva reached 1st base on an error, and Kylee Davis hit a line drive double to right field, advancing Eva to 3rd base. During that play, Eva scored on an Oak Ridge error, demonstrating their ability to capitalize on scoring opportunities despite the tight defense from Oak Ridge.

Reflecting on the game, Oak Ridge Head Coach Stephani Rougeau emphasized the importance of early wins in the district season for setting a positive tone.

During the post-game interview, Oak Ridge Head Coach Stephani Rougeau emphasized the importance of early district season victories, stating, "It sets the tone and gives us the confidence that we can do this." When asked to select two players to highlight, she praised "my little freshman Ava Bennett" for her "fantastic job" in the six-hole, delivering a 2 RBI hit in the 6th inning. She also commended her "senior pitcher Savanna Conway" for her calm and cool demeanor, adding, "she has it under her belt." However, Rougeau noted, "it's hard to pinpoint two. I have many more." Reflecting on the team's performance, she stated, "My kids stuck together, put a couple of hits and bunts together, and came out on top with 8 hits on the night."

This season, Oak Ridge has strategically relocated their dugout to the first base side, significantly enhancing their home-field advantage. This move positions the sun behind the dugout, ensuring cooler temperatures for the players as the season heats up. Additionally, the new location offers easier access to the hitting cages, potentially boosting player performance. Moreover, this change improves the overall spectator experience by providing War Eagle fans with closer access to concessions and restrooms.

Looking ahead, the War Eagles are set to face the Grand Oaks Grizzlies (3-1) in an away game on Friday, March 9, at 6:15 PM. Meanwhile, the Tigers will host New Caney (1-2) on the same evening, as both teams aim to build on their strong starts to the season.


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