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Rampart gets 4 in first to down host Mesa Ridge 5-3 in softball
A four-run first inning was enough to boost Rampart pitcher Alyssa McDowell to 4-0 this season as the visiting Rams defeated the Mesa Ridge Grizzlies 5-3 Tuesday.
McDowell allowed seven hits and walked none, putting her ERA for the season at a sparkling 1.88. Mesa Ridge, which averaged seven runs over its first four games, presented McDowell with a difficult challenge.
“You have to be very careful when you’re pitching (against Mesa Ridge),” McDowell said. “You have to pitch it in just the right spot or else it’s going to go far. It’s a good team but my team had my back the entire way.”
That they did. Left fielder Michaela Schumacher did her snow-cone vendor imitation by making three running catches, two of which were nabbed in the edge of her glove’s webbing. Third baseman Matison Slider added a diving grab of a line drive in the fifth. Mesa Ridge also played error-free ball.
“I think both teams today were fundamentally sound and that’s what we needed,” Mesa Ridge coach Al Bustillos said.
Rampart’s Kelli Warmouth, who had two doubles and a walk in four appearances, led the game off with a double down the left-field line. Schumacher sacrificed her to third and, after Kara Jones walked, Amanda Londo singled her home. Jones scored on a wild pitch and Londo followed on a triple by Jenna Malone. A sacrifice fly by Slider brought Malone home.
“They came out on top and ready to go,” Rampart coach Becki Pepper said. “We have a good-hitting team all the way through and those leaders got the runs we needed.”
Rampart (4-0) added a run in the fourth when Warmouth doubled and scored on another wild pitch. Outside of those two innings, Grizzlies pitcher Kelcee Witt allowed just two hits.
Mesa Ridge (2-3) countered with a Clorinda Roberts sac fly in the first, a Lina Martinez RBI single in the fourth and an RBI single by Lauren Anding in the sixth.
Pepper was glad to see her team challenged before heading to the Triple Crown Sports High School Invitational on Fort Collins, which starts Friday.
“We had to fight some good hitters and our pitcher came out and threw a good ballgame,” Pepper said. “That’s a good-hitting team; we’re going to face a lot of those this weekend.”