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Small ball does trick for Ripon

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POSTED March 25, 2009 4:32 a.m.
RIPON — Ripon went small in the second inning, and the rest was left up pitcher Kirsten Mortimer.

The Indians ran across four runs in the second, pouring the pressure on Riverbank’s defense with a series of bunts en route to a 6-3 Trans Valley League victory Tuesday.

Ripon (2-2, 5-5 overall) has now won four of its last five is a considerable underdog Thursday when it plays host to conference frontrunner Escalon.

Ripon backed Mortimer with a solid defensive effort (no errors), with Riverbank testing the Indians early with their own small-ball tactics.

“We were able to make the plays, but in that big second inning they weren’t able to handle it when we started playing small ball,” Ripon coach Robert Vernon said.

Mortimer was solid from the pitcher’s circle despite shaky moments late. She finished with seven strikeouts to one walk.

In the seventh, the Bruins threatened to extend the game with runners on second and third with one out. Mortimer induced a fly ball and ended the game on the same sequence after appealing an early tag off the second-base bag.

“We got a real nice performance from Kirsten,” Vernon said. “She got in some jams but worked her way out of them”

Mortimer helped her own cause with a 2-for-4 effort from the plate. Chelsea Higgins was a perfect 3 for 3 with an RBI, and Rachel Rodriguez finished 2 for 2 with an RBI double in the fourth.

Ali Azevedo also legged out a double, and the Indians rapped out 11 total hits.

— Jonamar Jacinto
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