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Ripon bats come alive in 10-run rout of LHS
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RIPON — That was more like it.

Ripon High’s softball team routed Lathrop 10-0 in five innings Friday after beating the first-year varsity team less convincingly, 4-0, on Tuesday.

It was also a nice bounce-back victory for the Indians (3-1), who dropped a 7-1 decision to Hughson Thursday in their Trans Valley League opener.

“The big thing for us was hitting,” Ripon coach Robert Vernon said. “In the first game their pitcher (Alicia Erlandson) was able to hit the outside corner and we didn’t do anything with it.

“But I think because we saw her again today after seeing her for seven innings on Tuesday it gave us a bit of an advantage, so we made the adjustments.”

Ripon raked out 16 hits, five of which went for multiple bases. The Indians busted the game open in the fourth with four runs, half of which came off a bases-loaded double from Paulina Ceja.

Ceja, who missed Ripon’s first two non-league games with a hamstring injury, went 3 for 3 with four RBIs and two runs to lead the charge.

Alyssa Gomes (two runs, two RBIs, double) and Alissa Vickers (run) were both 2 for 3, as 10 different Indians contributed at least one hit.

Freshman Nicole Kaiser was central to Ripon’s success in her first-ever varsity start in the pitcher’s circle. She struck out 11, walked one and scattered three hits in the five-inning shutout. Kaiser was also 3 for 4 with two runs and an RBI from the plate.

Krystal Ruiz belted two hits for Lathrop.

“She’s a pretty seasoned pitcher, and she put in work for us during a JV tournament earlier this season,” Vernon said of Kaiser. “She’s a travel-ball player and didn’t seem to be nervous out there.

“Us jumping out to an early lead probably calmed down any nerves that she may have had, but she had command of all of her pitches and threw well.”

Ripon hopes to carry over its effectiveness in all facets of the game in a non-league contest at home against Amador Monday. The Indians will then take on Modesto Christian in Salida in TVL play.

East Union 5, Tracy 2
The Squires (2-4) ran across a run in each of the first three innings and relied on the arms of pitchers Natalie Large and Jill Costa the rest of the way out.

Large gave up three hits, no walks and no runs in the first four innings, and reliever Jill Costa yielded an earned run over the final three.

Ashley Cook led the offense with 2 for 2, and Kailee Nuding was 1 for 1 but walked twice and scored three runs.

— Jonamar Jacinto