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RC looks to playoff berth after loss
SB--Mariposa-Ripon Christian pic 1
Mariposas Leah Lafata slides around the tag of Ripon Christian infielder Katie OLeary. - photo by GARY JENSEN/

RIPON — Ripon Christian High may have lost to Southern League-leading Mariposa on Thursday.

Yet, in no way was the 6-1 loss a crushing blow to the Knights (4-3 SL, 9-6) and their playoff hopes.

“We showed that we belong up there with Mariposa and Waterford,” said RC coach Lenny Rizzuto, who got a solid pitching effort from freshman Madison DeGraaf.

The Grizzlies (8-0 SL, 16-1) scored all of their runs on two-out rallies.

They came up with three in the second inning, adding a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth.

Taylor Vegely reached base in the second, scoring on a fielder’s choice by Leah Lafata. An RBI single by Sam Matlock followed by a two-base error boosted Mariposa to a 3-0 lead.

RC made up for one run in the bottom half of the frame.

Katie O’Leary ripped in lead-off double to right. She subsequently stole third and came home on Nicole Chapman’s sacrifice.

“We were just hoping to keep it close,” said Rizzuto after his team trailed 3-1.

That strategy started to slip away.

Mariposa’s Violet Madlock, who reached base on a hit, scored on Brylei Pearson’s two-out single in the fifth, making it 4-1.

In the sixth, Mariposa put the game out of reach as Lafata and Madlock strung together two-out singles, moving into scoring position on steals, and crossing home on an infield error.

The Grizzlies’ pitcher, Lafata, after allowing the lone run, went on to retire 18 of the 21 final batters.

Ariel Wander Woude had two hits for the Knights in that span while O’Leary had the other.

“They don’t make mistakes and they came up with timely hits,” said Rizzuto of Mariposa.

His goal for this team since he took over the RC softball program some three years ago was to make the playoffs.

The third-place Knights are still in position of reaching that goal.


To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail