MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Park Cottage Grove punched its ticket to the state softball tournament Friday for the third year in a row.
And two of those three trips can all be traced back to one player who is so clutch, it is almost too crazy to believe.
If you think you would be nervous stepping into the batter’s box with the game on the line, of course you would be, it’s human nature. But that is just the kind of situations that Riley Perryman thrives in.
“She’s someone that locks in, and you know, she just steps up,” said coach Bob Loshek.
“I just basically say, ‘Coach, put me in this position for a reason, and if I can do anything to get runners in, I’ll do anything it takes,’” Perryman said.
So here’s the situation the senior outfielder was in Friday in the section championship game against Eastview: Down by one, with two runners on, she belted a three-run homer — the eventual game-winner.
“We had people on base and the first thing I told myself was just get a base hit, and they’d run fast enough to score, and I guess it just, I lifted it high enough to get it over the fence,” Perryman said.
But here’s the crazy thing: It wasn’t the first time. Of all the clutch players out there, she is the clutchiest.
“Two years ago here against Eastview she did the exact same thing. She ended up hitting a home run when we were down by two, to get us within one, and that got all the momentum going to take down Eastview again a couple years ago and get us to the state tournament,” Loshek said. “It was amazing. Riley knows when to come through, she just works so hard.”
Being clutch is the kind of thing you cannot teach. It is just a mentality you have to have — and Perryman has it in abundance.
“Every swing can make a difference in a game, and I guess that’s why I love it, because it comes to certain at bats and everything, and I just love the game so much,” Perryman said.