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Ridgewood crushes Mitchell

The Rams do their best to make up for an earlier loss by pounding the Mustangs 19-1.

By WAYNE GRUMET

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 4, 2001


NEW PORT RICHEY -- Ridgewood took the field against Mitchell on Tuesday intent on avenging a 3-0 loss to first-year Mitchell on March 22.

And Ridgewood did so, rolling through the Mustangs from the outset. It took an 8-1 lead then scored 11 runs in the fifth to decimate Mitchell 19-1.

Ridgewood (13-5) pounded out 14 hits and took advantage of eight Mitchell errors. "It was time ... to defend what we lost before," said Ridgewood rightfielder Tera McCleary, who went 3-for-5. "We were very pumped and very ready to come in and kick some butt."

McCleary, Courtney Kline and Bethann Blankenship drove in three runs. The three combined to go 6-for-12 with six runs scored.

The Rams jumped all over Mitchell starter Tricia Blankenship, who shut out the Rams in the last game. Blankenship (4-7) was battling a sore knee and lasted just 12/3 innings, allowing six runs.

"I could tell tonight in the first inning that she just didn't have her stuff," Mitchell coach Scott Bisbe said. "She's got to be on for us to even have a chance."

Ridgewood ended the game with an 11-run fifth. Fifteen Rams batted, and seven got hits. The Mustangs (5-11) committed four errors in the inning, and they accounted for four runs.

"To me, every run they were scoring was taking a little more away from the win we had a week and a half ago," Bisbe said. "That was a big one. It wasn't a fluke. When you come out and get pounded like that with a bunch of errors, it just took a little away from that (win)."

Ridgewood starter Breanne Hill was overshadowed by her offense. She had some trouble in the first, allowing a run on a Moria Gustin double. But Hill (7-3) settled down to retire 12 in a row, finishing with eight strikeouts. Ridgewood coach Greg Bollinger said he was wondering where this team was the last time, but, nonetheless, he'll take the win.

"It's kind of a tale of two games. That's the team I expected to show up last time and didn't," Bollinger said. "Not to take anything away because we got beat before, but we wanted to re-establish ourselves."

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