Richmond’s bat, arm lift Rockets

Randie Richmond did it all for ninth-ranked Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont on Thursday.

Richmond hit a two-run homer in the fifth and pitched a three-hitter, leading the Rockets to the Class 2A state championship game thanks to a 2-0 victory over Interstate 35 at Rogers Park.

Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (32-8 overall) faces Iowa City Regina at 4:55 back on Diamond 1 for the title.

Richmond found a spot over the fence when she connected on a 1-0 pitch by Roadrunner ace Carlyn Stanley. It was the only mistake Stanley made on the day, but it was costly. Richmond retired 17 in a row after allowing a hit in the first inning.

“It feels good,” said Richmond, who was on the 2014 team that placed second. “It means a lot to us. We feel like we got (a state title) taken away from us and it means a lot to go back and take care of unfinished business.

“That’s what’s fueling us right now.”

The Rockets set a school-record for wins this year and also home runs. They advanced to state with a 4-1 upset of No. 4 Pella Christian in the regional finals and got past 10th-rated Central Springs in the quarterfinals, 4-3 in eight innings.

“Numbers don’t matter to me,” Richmond said. “I just want to do my job on the team which is to throw strikes, get outs and hit.

“My defense is great behind me so I was never worried about having a cushion while I was pitching or not.”

Stanley recorded 12 strikeouts and walked six batters. Stanley also had a double at the plate for the Roadrunners in the first inning.

Interstate 35 (27-5) meets Durant for third place honors at 3:30 p.m. on Diamond 2 Friday.

EDDYVILLE-BLAKESBURG-F 2,

INTERSTATE 35 0

Eddyville-B-F 000 020 0 — 2 4 1

Interstate 35 000 000 0 — 0 3 1

Randie Richmond (W, 20-5, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 4 K, 0 BB) and Claire Jager; Carlyn Stanley (L, 27-4, 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 12 K, 6 BB) and Shai Major. HR–EBF: Randie Richmond. 2B–EBF: Haegen Boyer; I-35: Carlyn Stanley. RBI–EBF: Randie Richmond (2). SB–EBF: Taryn Swartz, Haegen Boyer, Lillie Hynick.