Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

April 4, 2013

No Stopping Riddle

Morehead senior hurting, but breaks HR record

MOREHEAD — Amber Riddle rounded the bases Tuesday after her latest collegiate home run, feeling a combination of joy and relief.

Morehead State’s senior first baseman slammed a pitch over the fence in left-center against visiting Northern Kentucky for her school-record 31st career home run.

“I had been tied for quite a few games and was wondering when I was going to break it,” Riddle said.

She knew it would come, however, despite playing this season with a torn rotator cuff for which she receives treatment once and sometimes twice daily.

“Some days are worse than others,” Riddle said. “I’m going to play through it. This is my last season and I might as well do the best I can.”

Riddle plans to have surgery after the season. She said the injury happened last year and has gotten progressively worse.

“I just found out it was torn before the start of the season,” Riddle said. ”I can tell it’s considerably weaker.” 

Tuesday’s homer was her fourth in 24 games so far this season and helped trigger the Lady Eagles to a doubleheader sweep of Northern Kentucky.

“I was excited and relieved all at the same time,” said Riddle, who received a huge welcome at home plate from her teammates. “They can be noisy on a daily basis, but after I hit that one some of the screams were really loud. Katie Raile, our third baseman, said it gave her chills.”

MSU head coach David Williams was experiencing some of his own.

“That home run was a big deal for Amber and is a testament to the work she has put in here,” Williams said. “It was important for her to leave a mark on our program.”

Riddle snapped a tie with former teammate Rebecca Butler, who hit 30 home runs from 2008-11.

“I played with her for two years,” Riddle recalled. “She was always that one you looked up to, especially with her being a junior when I was a freshman. She was definitely our best hitter. For me to be up there by her name is special to me.”

Now, Riddle stands alone as the record-holder, just as she did while slamming 55 home runs at Rowan County High School to become No. 1 in state history.

Kentucky’s Miss Softball turned down other college offers to remain in her hometown and play for the Lady Eagles.

“It does mean a lot,” Riddle said. “I know my decision to go here was mostly for my family to be able to see me play, and they were there for the record. In college, you really have to be focused. If not, you are going to miss out. You push yourself, and you push others. The whole experience has been great for me.”

There’s plenty of softball remaining for Riddle and her teammates this spring. Because of postponements due to rain, cold and snow, the Lady Eagles (13-11) are scheduled to play 24 games in April.

Riddle, hitting at a .385 clip this season while playing errorless ball in the field, doesn’t want to miss a thing as her terrific MSU career begins to wind down.

“We have a lot of games left,” she said. “Because of the injury, I’m just trying to be more consistent than powerful. I’m looking for base hits more than home runs.”

Riddle is on the verge of breaking Morehead’s RBI and total base records. She already holds the mark for walks (94).

The former Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year was selected to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Mideast Region first team in 2012, when she hit 12 home runs to set the Lady Eagles’ season record.

ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at rstanley@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2671.

 

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • ZACK KLEMME: Punchless Reds wasting solid pitching

    The last nine days have been an exercise in understanding just how slim the margin for error is for baseball teams — even good ones — that can’t score.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726fbPrac0079.jpg Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks

    As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
    You gotta work. Hard.
    And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
    “Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
    “Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • kenzie-breaststroke.jpg Pennington makes push for Nationals

    Swimmer Kenzie Pennington had one last chance to make the cut for this year’s YMCA Long Course National Championships.
    The 15-year-old from Ashland didn’t disappoint.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside

    Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.

    July 24, 2014

  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014

  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014

  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos