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Indians overcome early deficit to blow out RC for first league win

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Indians overcome early deficit to blow out RC for first league win

Ripon Christian's Sarah Nieweg winds up to deliver a pitch in a crosstown contest against Ripon High Thursday. Ripon prevailed 15-5.

JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin/


POSTED March 20, 2009 4:53 a.m.
RIPON — Things were looking very bright for Ripon Christian when it jumped out to an early four-run lead behind senior hurler Sarah Nieweg in a game against neighboring rival Ripon Thursday afternoon.

But it’s slow and steady that wins the race.

After the Indians took advantage of several early Ripon Christian Mistakes, they went on to club 22 hits en route to a 15-5 blowout for their first Trans Valley League win of the season.

 “At the start of the season we talked about never giving up, and that’s something that we really showed today,” Ripon coach Robert Vernon said. “They were throwing the ball well, and we managed to get our hits in where we needed to in order to make them count.

“But I have to give credit to Ripon Christian – like us they’re a program that’s rebuilding, and they’re taking the right steps in getting there.”

It wouldn’t be until the fourth inning that Ripon (1-2, 4-5 overall) finally managed to close the early gap, but wasted no time in uncorking their own impressive run in the fifth inning with three runs on four hits – including a two-RBI double by Alyssa Vickers.

The final blow would come in the seventh inning when Ripon managed to get eight straight batters on base and tack on seven more runs that put the game out of reach for the Knights (0-3, 1-8).

While Ripon Christian captain Nieweg managed to strike out six batters in her seven innings of work, the combination of Ripon’s timely hitting and costly fielding mistakes proved to be too much for the young team to overcome.

“We thought we had it in the first, getting those four runs right off of the bat,” Ripon Christian coach Rick Faria said. “But right now we have a really young team that doesn’t quite know how to hold onto a lead yet, and that’s something that showed today.

“We have a great group of girls, but they’re young and they aren’t seasoned softball players yet – that’s something that will come with experience as they learn not to make the small mistakes.”

Kirsten Martinez managed to drive in three runs for the Indians in her 2-for-5 performance, while Contente netted three hits and just as many runs in her five trips to the plate.

“I was really happy to see the way that rebounded after giving up those four runs,” Vernon said. “We kept our focus and hit the ball well as a team, and that good to see.”

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