SHADYSIDE - Not even Mother Nature could cool off River's red-hot bats.
After a 52-minute weather delay following the second inning, the Pilots (19-9) broke loose for half-dozen runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on their way to a 11-2 thumping of PVC rival Frontier in Division IV sectional softball tournament action in Shadyside.
River, the designated host, led 3-1 when the lightning and rain came.
"We had a good fourth inning," River coach Dave Wright said. "Coming into this game I was a little bit concerned because if you look at the team's that Frontier has played, they've played them tough.
"It took us until the fourth inning to get things going, but we got production from people that haven't been giving us production."
He was referring to No. 9 hitter Anna Rufener. The senior slugged a two-run single in the second to give the Pilots a 3-1 advantage. She added another RBI in the six-run uprising.
"She's a senior and this was a good day for her," Wright said.
"She's struggled some, so this was good for her confidence."
Mackenzie Marshall led the winners' 13-hit attack with a bases-clearing triple and a sacrifice fly for four RBI. Starting pitcher Renae Riley added a pair of singles and two RBI, while Haylee Bowers drove in a run with a single and double. Rachael Hutchison added an RBI single.
"This was a team effort," Wright said when told that all but one of his players that stepped into the batter's box had a base knock. "This was a good win for us."
Riley was sailing along until the rains and lightning came. She had fanned three and yielded a trio of singles through two innings. However, following the delay she couldn't get back into the flow of things.
"Renae just couldn't get back into her rhythm," Wright explained. "I went out and asked her if she was OK, and she said 'yes.' But when they (Frontier) got the bases loaded, I had to make the (pitching) change."
In came sophomore Gabby Goudy and she proceeded to strike out the next two batters to leave the bases loaded.
"That was huge," Wright explained.
After Goudy fanned the side in the top of the fourth after the leadoff batter reached on an error, her teammates gave her a lot of breathing room.
Marshall's triple that drove in a trio of teammates was the big hit of the inning. Bowers, Riley and Rufener also knocked in runs during the outburst.
"They (River) came out after the break and really hit the ball, especially in the fourth inning," Frontier coach Andy Neader said. "I think we had the momentum before the break. We were playing a good game, but then we settled down and they (River) kept on going."
River will try for its 20th victory Thursday against the winner of today's game between Shadyside and Toronto.