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Lead-off homer by Burks sets tone in EU win

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Ripon’s Melanie Ulrich fields the ball and makes the throw to first.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/

POSTED April 20, 2014 11:25 p.m.

A leadoff home run coupled with five more runs in the first two innings for East Union proved to be too much for Ripon to handle Saturday in the third annual Cancer Awareness softball game.

The Lancers turned that early onslaught into a 6-2 non-league win on Garvine Field at the Northgate Softball Complex.

“We are not perfect,” Lancers coach Brian Goulart said. “We don’t add on. We have done that a bunch of times. We just did it against Manteca and tonight we didn’t tack on at all. We have to work on that.

“That is a mindset. It is not physical because we still swing the bats well, so we need to improve on it.”

For the second time this season, Cherish Burks led the game off for East Union (16-1) with a home run, knocking it over the fence in straightaway center.

“I think that was a great way to start off the game,” Burks said. “We were able to rally off of that.”

The Lancers added another run in the first inning when Samantha Owen tripled in Alexis Erich.

“It was an outside pitch,” Owen said. “And we have been working a lot on outside pitches. I let the ball get deep and went with it.”

East Union added four more runs in the second and held that lead until the fourth inning when the Indians (15-3-1) tallied two runs behind five hits with RBI singles by Taylor Vernon and Cara Brown. Ripon did hot have a base runner until that fourth inning.

“We made some adjustments,” Indians coach Robert Vernon said. “We talked about the curve ball getting up in the strike zone and getting on top of the plate, trying to take it away. We started to hit the ball and got a few runs.

“I am proud of the way our girls bounced back. This was a good test for us and we can walk away with our heads held high.”

Erich retired the first nine batters she faced and seven of the last eight, striking out seven and walking one with six hits. Hitting in the cleanup slot, the talented freshman was 2 for 3 with an RBI.

“That fourth inning was kind of a mess,” Erich said of the five-hit two run frame for Ripon. “I kind of put it off to the side and regrouped and came back out more confident knowing it was gone.”

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