Eleanor Roosevelt High School’s senior pitcher Renee Rodgers earned her fourth victory of the year as the Raiders decimated Henry A. Wise Jr. High School 15-2 during a girls’ softball match on April 10. Wise had a tough task against the undefeated Raiders (7-0) due, in part, to the stellar play of Rodgers who accounted for nine strikeouts and notched a complete game despite the match only going five innings because of the run-ahead rule.

Morgan Ottley is an infielder for the undefeated Eleanor Roosevelt Raiders. (Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr. )

“I think if we play our game we can take anybody in Maryland,” Rodgers told the AFRO. “My velocity has increased as a pitcher, and I think that my hitting has been exponentially better than it was before.”

Wise managed to hold Eleanor Roosevelt to just one run in the first inning, but the Raiders exploded in the second with an 11-run outburst as the bats came alive. However, Wise sophomore starting pitcher Sa’niyah Wilson had an outing to forget after throwing over 100 pitches, allowing thirteen earned runs and 10 walks, but Rodgers tamed the Pumas at will with her command of the fastball.

Eleanor Roosevelt shortstop Hanna Dwyer started in the second inning when she scored on a wild pitch, and with only one down, Wilson threw a passed ball allowing Morgan Ottley and Payton Albers to put two more runs on the scoreboard.

Following another walk, allowed by Wilson, Raiders catcher Lauryn Brooks slapped a ball into the outfield for a standup double to load the bases for Maria Ruiz. Ruiz worked the pitch count until Wilson threw a ball just outside on the payoff pitch to allow Haley Zach to score.

Already up five runs, Eleanor Roosevelt refused to let up. Rodgers hit a grounder and couldn’t beat the throw to first base, but she managed to plate Brooks. Rebecca Lorente continued the scoring trend after she hit, enabling Ruiz to score and Wilson walked the following batter.

“I think if we play error-free softball, we can play with anyone,” said Eleanor Roosevelt infielder Morgan Ottley. “We come to practice hungry every day, and we are always looking for improvement. We are a tight-knit group.”

Despite allowing six runs with two outs remaining in the bottom of the second inning, Wise didn’t allow the Raiders to score any more runs during the following inning of play.

Ottley, who accounted for a hit and three runs, reached first base on a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the fourth inning. After Wilson put down the next two opposing batters, Zach eventually scored after Wilson threw away another ill-advised pitch, and then Ruiz belted the ball for Eleanor Roosevelt’s final run of the match.

Nevertheless, Wise converted its only two hits of the game into runs in the fifth and final inning.

Wise (5-3) started off on fire winning its first four games of the season, but Eleanor Roosevelt handed them their third loss of the year. Even though the Raiders are riding high after a dominating performance, there is still work left to do.

“We played well, and they know what I expect,” Eleanor Roosevelt Head Coach Delton Fuller told the AFRO. “I’ve been waiting for the bats to come around and I’ve been a little tougher on my seniors. Renee is going to give us 110 percent every game, but I’m going to need the other eight players to step up and play big time.”