By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Late collapse costs Lathrop
Placeholder Image
LATHROP – In the opening stages of Lathrop High’s nonleague contest with the Ripon Indians, Lathrop looked evenly matched with the Ripon, holding the lead for the game’s first four innings. Ripon eventually took over in a major way, closing its 17-2 win with 14 runs in the last two at bats.

Ripon looked like two different squads, sleep walking its way to a 2-0 deficit in the first two innings. Lathrop starter Alicia Erlandson had a lot to do with that, keeping the potent Ripon lineup at bay over her four innings of work. Ripon was able to push across its first runs on Erlandson, but they came by way of a two-out error.

“We came out a little flat at the beginning of the game, but their pitcher sure threw pretty well,” Ripon head coach Robert Vernon said. “She was good those three of four innings and that whole team is much improved from last year.

“They had us on our heels for a second, but then we started hitting the ball.”

The Indians got going in the sixth inning and nothing could slow the unit down. Timely hitting, clutch base running and four Lathrop errors let a game that was intensely close become a blowout.

“Alicia pitched a full game (Tuesday) and we knew her arm was getting a little tired,” Lathrop head coach Christina Jones said. “I was extremely pleased with Alicia, she would have pitched a complete game today had her arm held up.”

Ripon got a sterling effort from its freshman hurler MacKenzie Gauden, who kept the Indians in things when their offense was desolate. Gauden tossed 4 2/3 innings before giving way to Nicole Kaiser. Kaiser was as impressive, striking out her first batter on three pitches.

Ripon held a slim 3-2 lead opening the sixth and fulfilled its insurance clause when Tiana Chacon drilled a pitch into the left-centerfield gap, breaking open the contest for good. The Indians would push across seven in the inning, yet added seven more in the seventh for good measure.

“We are a very young team and we are still in the learning stages of all of this,” Vernon said. “We haven’t ahd a game that was that close for so many innings. The score didn’t indicate how close the game really was.

“They need to experience the close games, and for the first five innings it was a 3-2 ball game.”

Lathrop got a 2-for-4 day from Lopez, who also scored a run, while teammate Alayna Ascunsion was 1-for-3 and joined Lopez as Lathrop’s only run scorers. Chacon was 2-for-5 and came around to score three runs and Kaiser was impressive as well at the plate with a 3-for-5 performance. Kaiser also came around to score three times for the Indians.

Ripon will be back on the diamond at 3:30 p.m. when they meet up with the Ripon Christian Knights, while Lathrop is not scheduled to be back on the diamond until March 16 when they travel to Stockton to take on the Franklin Yellowjackets.