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Ripon prevails in 1st-place battle

Indians capitalize after Hughson ace leaves with injury

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Ripon prevails in 1st-place battle

Ripon right fielder Tiana Chacon comes in to make the catch over second baseman Karla Calderon in a 14-7 win for the Indians over visiting Hughson on Tuesday.


POSTED April 16, 2014 1:17 a.m.

RIPON — After blanking Ripon in their first meeting this season, Hughson pitcher Courtney Thornhill was working on eight consecutive shutout innings over the Indians when she turned her ankle in the first inning and had to leave Tuesday’s Trans-Valley League softball contest.

It took Ripon a while to get going, but the Indians knocked a pair of three-run home runs and enjoyed a seven-run seventh on the way to a 14-7 win over the Huskies and sole possession of first place.

“Well, their ace hurt her ankle,” Ripon coach Robert Vernon said. “And we took advantage of it. We had some clutch hits with a couple of three-run home runs.”

Both teams had one league loss coming into Tuesday’s game.

“We are not going to hang our hat on this win,” Vernon said. “We will take the win any day of the week and be glad we have a one-game lead over them, but the girls have it in perspective. We will meet again.”

The first big inning for the Indians (6-1 TVL, 14-2-1 overall) was the third when they got a three-run home run from freshman Mikaela Ferreira.

“We were down 3-1 and had runners on second and third,” Ferreira said. “It was right there and I hit it. It felt good.”

Sophomore catcher Cara Brown had the other three-run shot for Ripon, knocking hers in the fifth inning to put the Indians ahead 7-3.

“I honestly thought mine was a pop fly,” Brown said. “I saw it and I hit it.”

The Huskies (6-2, 10-5) did not go quietly into the windy afternoon. Hughson took advantage of a key Ripon error and had some timely hitting in the sixth inning to score four runs and tie the game at 7.

And then the wheels fell off the Huskies wagon.

A walk and two singles loaded the bases for the Indians in the bottom of the sixth inning.  Two infield grounders led to two throwing errors at the plate putting Ripon ahead 9-7. Mackenzie Gauden added a two-RBI single as the big hit for the Indians in the frame.

Cleanup hitter Taylor Vernon did her job for Ripon, going 4 for 5 with an RBI and three runs.  

Valley Oak League

Sierra 7, Kimball 4

Every starter contributed at least one hit for Sierra (6-3 VOL, 10-4 overall) in Wednesday’s make-up game at the Tracy Softball Complex.

Allie Walljasper, Taylor Moss (two RBIs), Lexus Barnes (RBI) and Julie Deanda drilled two hits apiece. Walljasper also struck out nine and gave up two earned runs on four hits from the pitcher’s circle.

Kimball (4-5, 7-7) doesn’t have to wait long for the rematch, as it visits the Timberwolves today.

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