River Ridge romps over Ridgewood

The Royal Knights score 10 in the first inning en route to a 16-3 victory.

Published April 14, 2005

NEW PORT RICHEY - In the midst of a second straight losing season, Ridgewood and its beleaguered offense continued to struggle Wednesday at River Ridge.

The Rams, who entered with a .210 team batting average, got off to a good start.

Ridgewood took a 2-0 lead in its first at-bat, but could not hold on in a 16-3 loss to the Royal Knights.

The three-time state qualifiers sent 16 batters to the plate and scored 10 in the first inning en route to an easy win shortened to four and a half innings by the mercy rule.

"We really haven't been scoring runs all year, so to get two in the first inning ... it keeps the team up," Ridgewood coach Amber Starkey said.

"But then we left bases loaded and that's the problem we've had all year, scoring runs."

Jessica Birchmeier had an RBI single and scored on a bases-loaded walk to Jen Freeman in the first, but the inning ended when Nicole Denney came on in relief of River Ridge starter Ashley Andreas to strike out Felicia Hunt with the bases full.

Denney, who pitched to that one batter, earned the win to improve to 14-4.

Andreas returned to the mound and went 32/3 innings in a no-decision. Andreas allowed three hits, walked five, fanned two and hit a batter.

"I feel bad because Ashley deserves the win," Denney said.

Michelle Miller and Meghan Chaple paced River Ridge's 17-hit attack with three hits and four RBIs each.

Stephanie Seaman chipped in with two hits, three RBIs and four runs scored, and Janet Houck had four hits with three runs and an RBI.

Birchmeier was the only Ram to reach base for each at-bat. She walked twice in addition to her run-scoring single.

"You get yourself in trouble and Birchmeier's a good hitter," River Ridge coach Ernie Beck said of Andreas' early struggles.

Holly Mancini (2-4) took the loss. She and Rikki Cotto have shared time on the mound for Ridgewood (5-13) since Amanda Thomas injured a shoulder after tossing a no-hitter in the Rams' season opener.