RIPON – If Danielle Sperry was holding onto any frustration following Wednesday’s runaway loss to Sierra, the freshman didn’t show it.
Sperry tossed a complete-game two-hitter on Friday afternoon, baffling Hughson with a mix of speeds and locations.
“She was spinning the ball well,” Ripon coach Robert Vernon said. “We mixed up – inside and outside, rise and curve. She did an outstanding job.”
All that was missing was the win.
The reigning Sac-Joaquin Section Division V champions scored an unearned run in the fifth inning and escaped Ripon with a 1-0 victory.
The Huskies are now 2-0 in Trans Valley League play. The Indians are 0-1 and have lost two straight after running off seven straight wins to start the season.
With an important caveat.
Let the record show that the last two losses came against two of the section’s premier programs.
Sperry has played an interesting role in each of the last two games.
She was roughed in relief against Sierra in a 7-1 loss on Wednesday.
On Friday, she was virtually unhittable. Sperry struck out four, walked one and gave up just two hits.
“We chatted about it right after the game. We tried not to let things linger too long,” Ripon coach Robert Vernon said. “We chatted about keeping your head up, hitting your spots and good things will happen.
“It was definitely behind her.”
The Indians had their chances.
Cara Brown and Tiana Chacon doubled for Ripon (7-2), whose tour of the section’s A-list continues through next week.
The Indians travel to East Union today for a cancer benefit game. First pitch is at 2 p.m.
On Tuesday, Ripon jumps back into TVL play with regional tilt against Escalon.
“We’ve got a better team,” Vernon said, “so we’re stepping up the competition. … Iron sharpens iron.”
The Indians were their own worst enemy against the Huskies. Vernon said the Indians got their signals mixed up twice, including once in the fifth with runners on first and third with one out.
The runner misread a bunt signal as the green light to steal second.
She was gunned down at second for the second out, the runner at third failed to score and the next batter popped up to end the threat.
“We’ve done a good job at manufacturing runs with first and third and one out,” Vernon said. “We just didn’t execute today.”
Late Wednesday result
Ripon Christian 16, Denair 0
Shelby Vrieling pitched a perfect game in a mercy-rule victory over Denair.
Vrieling retired all 15 batters she faced, including 10 by strikeout.
She helped her own cause with two RBIs and four runs.
Courtney Perilliat went 3 for 5 with two RBIs.