Softball: Lady Trojans pull away

SHINGLE SPRINGS — “Make ‘em pay” were the final words Amber Orchard heard as teammate Caitlyn Olan was walked to load the bases in the sixth-inning of Thursday’s intra-county Delta River League clash between visiting Oak Ridge and Ponderosa.

Orchard did, ripping a huge 3-run double, as the Trojans pulled away to defeat the Bruins 9-4.

Oak Ridge (2-0, 11-2-1) scored four times in the sixth and seven of its runs in the last three innings. Overall, Troy tallied 14 hits and their 3-4-5 hitters (Lindsey Zito, Olan, Orchard) combined for six hits and seven RBIs.

“We’ve been hitting really well.  Even though we lost two big hitters from last year, our young kids and current seniors can all hit the ball,” Oak Ridge coach Sam Kloczko said. “We’re confident in our hitting.”

Pitching-wise, Trojan starter Alyssa Burns gutted out an ankle injury to go the distance. She surrendered the lead in the fourth but recorded two-of-three shutdown innings after her team’s   late scoring splurge.

“I couldn’t push off but I made up for it arm speed and keeping the ball low,” said Burns, who tossed a seven-hitter.

Olan (3-for-3, 2 RBIs) doubled in a first-inning run, Bailey Cook singled in Kendall Kelley in the second and Olan’s RBI hit and Orchard’s sacrifice fly put two more up in the fifth. After Zito’s RBI single in the sixth, Orchard cleared the bags with a rope off the base of the center-field fence.

“I wasn’t on my game at first and they thought I’d be an easy out but those are moments I live for,” Orchard said. “It’s exciting to be in those situations because I know I can come out on top.”

The Bruins (1-1, 8-3-1) sliced Oak Ridge’s 2-0 advantage in half in the second as Veronica Greene doubled and pinch-runner Annie Weiss came in on Shawna Boley’s two-out single. Ponderosa went up 3-2 in the fourth after Erin Anderson was credited with a double that plated Weiss and Bailey Nordquist.

Trailing 9-3, Weiss walked and Terra Jerpbak singled with one down. Madison Anderson (2-for-3, double) singled in Rachel Timberman before Burns induced a popout and lineout to end it.

“They (Oak Ridge) came out swinging and executed well,” Bruin coach Dwayne Brekke said. “It was back-and-forth early — then they had a couple of big hits while we couldn’t get that big extra-base hit.”

For the Trojans, Orchard drove in four runs; Zito, Taylor Railey and Katina Vail each had two hits; and Sky Divinagracia double.

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