Cassie Rickrode hung six straight zeroes to end the game and drove in the go-ahead runs with a double in the bottom of the fourth to lead Delone Catholic to a 5-3 victory over visiting Fairfield in YAIAA Division IV softball action Monday afternoon in McSherrystown.
Rickrode allowed three runs and three hits in the top of the first, but she allowed just two hits the rest of the way and finished the game with eight strikeouts and one walk.
"We called all fastballs in the first inning and then switched it up after that," Delone coach Don Smith said.
Rickrode added, "I tried to pick up my speed some and hit my spots better after the first inning."
Delone (11-2, 9-1) trailed 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth when Rickrode came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. She crushed a 1-2 pitch over the left fielder's head, and it bounced off the fence for a two-run double that gave the Squirettes their first lead of the contest.
Fairfield (7-7, 6-6) had a chance to even things in the top of the sixth when Gena Eiker tripled with one down, but Rickrode fanned the next hitter and then induced a groundout to end the threat."I just tried to get the ball in the air in the outfield to try to get a run in and tie the game," Rickrode said. "I didn't want to try to do to much and not at least tie it up."
Shelbee Holcomb added to the Delone advantage in the bottom of the sixth with a solo homer and that capped a big day for the senior shortstop as she was 4-for-4 at the plate.
"We gave ourselves chances and had a really good one to tie the game in the sixth. Unfortunately, we couldn't get Gena in from third," Fairfield coach Terry Weikert said. "We had a good first inning, but then got defensive at the plate. We told the kids to look first pitch, because that might be the best pitch that they'd see. We took too many of them and got behind in the count."
Fairfield's three-run first inning came via a two-run single from Madison Macharsky and an RBI single by Jordan Pryor.
Delone clinched at least a tie for the YAIAA Division IV title with the victory, and the Squirettes racked up 13 hits in the game, while stranding 10 runners.
"We hit very well with no one on base today," Smith said. "But we've got to get better at hitting with runners on and capitalize when we have chances to score."