In the inaugural Softball for Cancer softball game at Northgate Softball Complex Friday, Ripon High was able to put together a huge third inning rallyen route to an 8-2 win over host East Union Friday night.
East Union struck first when leadoff hitter Cherish Burks came around to score after a hit and stolen base in the bottom of the first, but Ripon would answer with a run of its own in the second, prefacing the monstrous six-run third inning.
The Indians banged out 10 hits in the contest, collecting six of those in the pivotal third. The Lancers did not help matters in the inning, assisting Ripon’s cause with two errors and a walk.
“We made a few errors in that big inning and they came out and hit the ball well,” East Union head coach Brian Goulart said. “The bummer was after that it was just silent in our dugout. We were just sapped until there was no fight left. That is the part that is really painful.
“I am just glad it was not league.”
Ripon opened its half of the third with four of the first five batters collecting base hits. Back-to-back errors from East Union prefaced another pair of Ripon hits, spotting Ripon starter Mackenzie Gaudin more than enough run support.
Gaudin was effective in her complete game, scattering eight hits and working herself out of a bases loaded, no outs, jam by holding the Lancers to one run. Gaudin only had two strikeouts in the win, but reaped the benefits of a tremendous team effort defensively, complete with a pair of highlight reel diving catches.
“I felt great out there,” Gaudin said. “There was a lot of energy on my team. It really helps when everybody is focused and really into the game.
“I was just out there trying to do the best that I can.”
Burks was the only real thorn in Gaudin’s side, going 3 for 4 with a double and a run scored.
Ripon was led by Tiana Chacon’s great defense at the hot corner, as well as her two hits and a run scored. Teammate Taylor Vernon also had significant impact, going 2 for 4 and driving in three runs for the Indians and Breana Gall came around to score twice.
“By far, that is the best game we’ve played all year long,” Ripon head coach Robert Vernon said. “We have been planning this event for a long time and that is pretty much a stoic program over there. It was nice to come over and see some friends. We didn’t know how we were going to fare being a smaller school, but I’m proud of our girls this was a big win for us.”