By FRANCIS FEDOR
Stingray baseball continues to struggle to find consistency as the season winds down. The Rays hosted rival Lennard on Monday, April 10, and found themselves on the wrong side of the 12-4 score. Sumner traveled to Plant and put up a good fight but didn’t get the result it wanted, losing 8-5 on Thursday, April 13.
Coach Kennedy Duran welcomed local rival, and his former team, the Lennard Longhorns, coached by Victor Martinez, to Sumner to renew rivalries. Lennard coach Martinez took over for Kennedy as he moved to take on the challenge of building a new program at Sumner HS. On this night, the Longhorns found open spaces in the Stingray defense and came away with the win. It was a tight match-up for the first two innings, but Lennard broke through for a four-run fourth and exploded for a six-run seventh. Stingray junior Avery Charland took the loss, giving up three earned in four innings of work. The Stingray staff gave up 13 hits and walked seven Longhorn hitters. Sumner senior Brenden Rodriguez went 2-4 at the plate with a double and scored two runs. Senior Manny Ramos contributed a 2-3 effort with an RBI. Lennard senior Alex Brazer homered, his third of the season, and Carter Payne went 5.2 innings, allowing two earned and striking out three for the win.
Sumner traveled to Plant to face the 13-3 Panthers and were first to light up the scoreboard, scoring five runs in the second inning, but Plant came back with its own five-run inning in the third. The Stingrays couldn’t crack the Panther staff the rest of the night and took the hard-luck loss. Sophomore Luke Parson had a 3-3 night at the plate, scoring a run, and Manny Ramos continued his strong leadership with a 2-4 effort with an RBI. Freshman Ethan Dejesus took the loss, giving up all eight Plant runs with four walks in 2.2 IP. Junior Gavin Albritton has been a stabilizing force on the mound and threw 2.1 innings, striking out three while walking four.
The end of the season doesn’t get easier for the young Stingrays, and they will be put to the test with games at 15-3 Durant and a home Saturday 10 a.m. start on April 22 against the 12-6 Strawberry Crest.
Stingray softball hosted the school’s second senior night and honored Alyssa Vallad, Megan deVilliers, Madison Robitaille and Savana Robnett, who all have been a part of the program from the very start. Senior Kayla DiNova, who has been a part of the past two seasons, was also honored. The program has been a very successful one due, in part, to the core leadership these seniors have provided, under the tutelage of Autum Hernandez, and they will take away great memories as they move on to the next level. As for the game against rival Lennard, the result was a very familiar win, 7-0 over the Longhorns. Alyssa Vallad handled the pitching duties and added another 12 K’s to bring her season total to 91. She has turned away 329 opponent batters by way of the strikeout in her three seasons and still has a few more appearances left to get closer to 400.
The Ray’s were road warriors the rest of the week, losing for the second time this season to district rival Plant by a 5-2 score and bouncing back vs. Strawberry Crest for a rare Saturday morning game. They are in the final three-game stretch to end the season with action at Armwood on Tuesday, April 18, and a rematch at Lennard on Thursday, April 20. They end the season at home vs. Brandon on Tuesday, April 25, for their final tune-up before district playoff action begins.
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