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Tigers roar past Staples softball

Updated 10:30 pm, Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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  • Mike Ross Connecticut Post freelance -Staples High School left fielder #18 Maya Mandell eyes a pop up to left field during Wednesday evening match-up against Ridgefield High School. Mandell would miss the catch on the play. Photo: Mike Ross / www.mikerossphoto.com
    Mike Ross Connecticut Post freelance -Staples High School left fielder #18 Maya Mandell eyes a pop up to left field during Wednesday evening match-up against Ridgefield High School. Mandell would miss the catch on the play. Photo: Mike Ross

 

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The Ridgefield High softball team started out fast against Staples on Wednesday, scoring four times in the first inning.

The Tigers didn't stop there.

Tacking on runs in each of the next three innings, Ridgefield jumped out to a nine-run lead and ultimately held off Staples 10-5 at Greens Farms Elementary.

"The bats came alive," said Ridgefield coach Kimberly Bentson, whose team collected 14 hits. "It was awesome to see them. Their energy was up the whole entire game. They wanted this game.

"You could tell that they wanted to walk out of here with a win."

Seven different batters collected hits for Ridgefield, led by catcher Amanda Scammon, who went 4-for-4 with a double, triple and two RBI. Dana Cohen, who tossed a complete game for the Tigers, batted 3-for-3 with two RBI. Left fielder Oliva Eltz also drove in a pair of runs in a 2-for-2 night.

"They came out swinging the bats," Staples coach Sara Holland said of Ridgefield. "Kudos to them. They came out ready to hit and ready to play."

Ridgefield (3-5) loaded the bases against Staples right-hander Katie Burke with one out in the first inning. The Tigers went ahead 1-0 on Eltz's sacrifice fly, then plated three additional runs following a two-out error.

The Wreckers committed five errors on the night, leading to six unearned runs.

"I think this was probably one of our worst defensive games," Holland said. "That's kind of what we've been relying on, is defense keeping us in the games and us pushing anywhere from four to eight runs across."

Most of Staples' offense didn't come until it was too late. Trailing 10-1 in the seventh inning, the Wreckers scored four runs on three hits and two errors.

Shortstop Nikki Bukovsky, who drove in a run in the seventh, went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple in the loss.

"When we let a team put 10 runs on the board, it is really, really hard to recover," Holland said, "especially when we don't chip away."

Cohen, a senior, limited Staples to just three hits over the first six innings. She walked only one over that span, before issuing a pair of walks to Maggie Mills and Emma Moskovitz to start the seventh.

"Dana knows when she walks kids, it hurts her. But she did phenomenal throughout this whole game," Bentson said.

Burke was removed from the circle after allowing a single to start the second, and was replaced by right-hander Emily Lustbader. The Tigers made it 5-0 in the second on Claire Phelan's sacrifice fly.

Lustbader pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits, before Burke returned to the circle. Burke pitched the final 2 2/3 innings.

After Staples (5-2) pushed across its first run -- a ground out by Christine McCarthy -- in the third to make it 6-1, Ridgefield scored three times in the fourth. Scammon's one-out double made it 7-1, and Eltz and Cohen drove in the next two runs with singles.

The Wreckers have now lost two of their last three games after starting the year 4-0.

"We've been able, prior to tonight, to do the basic stuff -- catching fly balls, fielding the ground balls that we need to field. We'd been doing it all," Holland said. "We just didn't do it tonight."

dbonjour@scni.com; 203-255-4561 ext. 114; twitter.com/DougBonjour

RIDGEFIELD 10, STAPLES 5

RIDGEFIELD 411 300 1 -- 10 14 3

STAPLES 001 000 4 -- 5 6 5

Records: Ridgefield 3-5; Staples 5-2.

Batteries: R -- Dana Cohen (W) and Amanda Scammon; S -- Katie Burke (L), Emily Lustbader (2), Burke and Maggie Mills.

Doubles: R -- Scammon; S -- Shannon Connors, Nikki Bukovsky. Triples: R -- Scammon; S -- Bukovsky.

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