LINDEN – Class was in session Saturday and unfortunately for Ripon Christian it was in the school of hard knocks as the Knights dropped a twin bill to host Linden 10-0 and 11-1 at the Alan B. Hamilton Memorial Sports Complex.
“Today was definitely a learning experience for us,” Knights coach Brandi Thomas said. “We saw a lot of good things from young girls who put the ball in play against a very good pitcher.
“Linden is a very good team with good defense, good bats and good pitching. It was good for our young girls to see this level of competition before we go into some really tough league games.”
After getting three-hit and shut out in the first game with Sarah Brown, Maclaira Camper and Elizabeth Brown getting the three hits, Ripon Christian (5-2) was retired in order in the first three innings of the second contest, before an error by the Lions (11-1) allowed Morgan Van Elderen to reach to start the Knights fourth.
Madison DeGraaf singled Van Elderen to second and Van Elderen came in to score on a single by Thomas. Following Thomas’ RBI, Linden turned a double play to end the third and shut the Knights out in the fourth to end the game via the mercy rule.
“I wasn’t feeling very confident at the plate because I had not been doing great with the bat,” Thomas said. “So just took a deep breath, relaxed and saw it to the bat.”
The Lions won the first game via the mercy rule in four innings as well.
“The kids came to play today,” Linden coach Mark Miller said. “They did a good job and I am proud of them.
“But we have a long way to go and I hope it all comes together.”