Trojans go ‘Pink’ to give Folsom the blues
Kasey Stanchek allowed just one hit while striking out a dozen Friday and Jenessa Jeppesen’s second-inning lead-off home run to straightaway center field stood up as the game-winner as host Oak Ridge downed neighboring Folsom 9-0 in Delta River League softball action.
Both teams donned various combinations of the color pink on their uniforms in support of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness Benefit game that attracted a big crowd to the Trojan softball diamond. The pre-Spring Break victory improved Oak Ridge’s league record to 2-3.
Jackie Schmaeling, in a rare start at shortstop, doubled and tripled for Troy while Megan Watson singled twice and Jeppesen later singled in a run. After scoring twice in the second inning, the Trojans added five runs in the third to put the game away.
Jeppesen’s third home run of the season opened the scoring. The UC Santa Barbara-bound senior smoked the second pitch she saw on a line over the fence to give Stanchek all the support she’d need.
“It felt good. I just waited for my pitch and wanted to get a rally going,” Jeppesen said. “I thought we played really well. Lately we’ve hit a rough patch but today we focused on what we needed to do and came together.”
After Watson singled, Julia Okasaki sacrificed and an eventual wild pitch plated Watson for a 2-0 advantage.
With Stanchek in control, Oak Ridge batted around in the third. Schmaeling, the team’s usual catcher, drilled a double to the gap in left-center to get the rally started and hit her three-bagger in the opposite gap.
“It’s a totally different and refreshing to look and see everyone work together and click,” Schmaeling said about playing short as opposed to being behind the plate. She then addressed her extra-base hits. “Just the smack of the bat sounded so sweet. It felt like I wasn’t even swinging — it felt right.”
Jade Matsumoto, Jeppesen, Watson and Caitlyn Olan hit RBI singles in the third inning and another run scored on an error. Schmaeling’s triple drove in Christine Berg in the fourth and she came in on Lauren Bertoy’s ground-out to complete the scoring.
Stanchek gave up an infield hit in the top of the first and a Trojan error accounted for the only two base runners to reach against her. She retired the final 16 Bulldogs.
“The kids always seem to play better with the big crowds. Our job is trying to convince them to always play with a chip on their shoulder because the other team’s trying to beat you,” Oak Ridge coach Marc Bentovoja said. “We started with a different lineup because we haven’t found the right formula. We took a loss against St. Francis in a game we should have won so we juggled the lineup to get something going.”