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Rams' errors lead to blowout

Ridgewood's six errors help Palm Harbor to an 8-1 victory and secure another victory for Hurricanes' starter Katie Dobson.

By JOHN C. COTEY

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 8, 2001


NEW PORT RICHEY -- Palm Harbor University pitcher Katie Dobson called her outing against Ridgewood on Wednesday night one of her worst of the season, which was pretty ironic considering the Rams defense could say the same thing.

But as to who was worse, it was easily the Rams, who committed six errors and fell 8-1 to the Hurricanes in a Class 5A, District 8 game at Ridgewood.

Dobson improved to 8-0 on the season in holding the Rams (7-2) to three hits, two of them squibbers drilled into the dirt 3 feet in front of home plate. The junior struck out eight and retired 11 consecutive batters to end the game.

Though she walked two and threw two wild pitches, Dobson was helped by a stalwart defense.

Ridgewood starter Breanne Hill (3-2) was not.

With two outs in the second inning, Jacquee Moskatevc tripled into the rightfield gap, and following a walk, leadoff hitter Denyve Duncan grounded a ball sharply to third. But the throw to first from the Rams' Marissa Noriega was short, allowing Duncan to get caught in a rundown that let another run score to make it 2-0.

Ridgewood cut that margin in half as Hill singled and scored on a fielder's choice in the fourth inning.

However, in the fifth, PHU broke it open with six more runs.

Shortstop Brandy Krieg committed two errors, Nicole Deleon had one and leftfielder Leda Smith let a bases-loaded single roll past her to clear the bases.

The Rams were playing without starting shortstop Bethann Blankenship, who is expected to miss two weeks after being hit on the left elbow with a pitch last weekend.

Krieg, who normally plays third, started for Blankenship while Noriega filled in at third.

"We have some people playing out of position, but we're not using that as an excuse," coach Greg Bollinger said. "You can't give a team like that six extra outs. If we don't make those errors, I don't know if they score."

That is probably the optimistic view, considering PHU (12-1) hit the ball well, too. Catcher Janine Palumbo crushed two shots to the fence in center for doubles, centerfielder Brandy Portalotin was 2-for-2 with two runs and two steals, and the bottom four in the Hurricanes' lineup went a combined 4-for-9 with six runs scored.

"I know we have hitters all through our lineup," said Dobson. "That's a good reassurance.

"It's a nice cushion to know that they are there."

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