By Jackson Long
Paying little heed to the Delta River League standings, host Oak Ridge defeated front-running Pleasant Grove 4-1 behind solid pitching and two home runs.
“This win was huge,” said Trojan head coach Sam Kloczko. “I have been telling them all along that we are better than our record (now 4-8 overall, 1-1 in league play). This league is wide open.”
Oak Ridge wasted no time grabbing the lead in the first inning as Lauren Bertoy smacked a solo home run to straightaway centerfield. Troy stranded Caitlyn Olan at third in the second while the visitors tied the score in the third on a bloop hit.
In the bottom half, Jackie Schmaeling stood at third with no outs but Oak Ridge failed to bring her in. In the fourth the Trojans left runners at the corners after two pop outs.
Oak Ridge did extend in the fifth when Renee Bardini smacked a double followed by a home run to left field by Schmaeling. Several batters later with a runner on second, Olan’s short fly dropped into right field and ruled a hit despite the rightfielder signaling she made the catch, a play that was protested by the Eagles’ coach to no avail.
“Honestly it was probably a catch,” Kloczko said. “There were no good views so I wasn’t positive what happened but the way the girl who caught it acted, I presumed she had made the catch. Sometimes you get those lucky breaks.”
On the mound, Christina Arace pitched four and third innings for Trojans, allowing just one earned run. Alyssa Burns finished the game by throwing the final two and two-thirds.