Trojan offense stagnant; they drop pitcher’s duel to St. Francis
The Oak Ridge offense failed to advance a runner past second-base, falling 4-0 to St. Francis in Wednesday’s Delta River League varsity softball match.
St. Francis starting pitcher Stephanie Heyward had an afternoon to remember, throwing a complete game one-hit beauty to go with a huge three-run triple in the seventh to extinguish any hopes of a Trojan comeback.
Oak Ridge ace Kasey Stanchek battled Heyward to the bitter end but never received any form of support from the bats. In the top of the sixth St. Francis strung together three singles, finally pushing the first run of the ball game across the plate on a flared line drive that was nearly snagged by the diving mitt of shortstop Haley Anderson.
The bottom half of the sixth saw the Trojans finally break up Heyward’s no-hitter in the form of a well-hit line drive into right field by designated-hitter Renee Bardini. The Oak Ridge faithful rallied behind their girls but after a strikeout, fielder’s choice and groundout to end the inning, one thing remained clear – the Trojan hitters still had no answer for Heyward.
Stanchek took the hill in the seventh down just a run but after a pair of “seeing-eye” singles and a hit-by-pitch, Heyward stepped up to the plate for the Troubadours with two-outs and three runners on. She fouled off a couple of pitches until she got the one she liked, blasting a line-drive into the right-center gap to clear the bases. Stanchek retired the next batter but the Oak Ridge bats went down quietly in the bottom half of the inning to cap off a dismal game at the plate.
This marks the third consecutive conference loss for the Trojans who saw their record dip to 1-3. It’s still early but Oak Ridge will look for any help it can get as it tries to climb up the standings and challenge Pleasant Grove and Sheldon for playoff positioning.
The Trojan’s visit the Folsom Bulldogs Friday for their first meeting of the year.
Note: Stanchek’s stats- Seven innings pitched, four earned-runs, ten hits and one base-on-ball.