The Toll Gate Lady Titans clobbered the Cranston East Thunderbolts 15-3 in five innings during a Division II softball showdown on Thursday afternoon at Aqueduct Field in Cranston.
Toll Gate junior Kiley Ferns went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI, while her younger sister Kate, a sophomore, was 2-for-2 with one double. Ashley Armstrong, a senior third baseman, crushed a two-run home run for her first round tripper of the season.
The East offense was led by freshman Brooke Rogers, who hit a single and drove in two runs, and Amber Carnevale, a senior catcher, who had a pair of hits, including an RBI double.
Toll Gate’s Katelyn Hawes, a senior, pitched a complete-game and struck out three.
“I think she pitched a great game,” Lady Titans manager Shana Willis said. “She kept them on their toes. She definitely was able to move the ball around today, and did a nice job with her variety of pitches. And she also helped offensively with a double and two runs scored. So, she had a great game.”
Toll Gate got on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning when Jillian Walsh, a sophomore, launched an RBI double to left, which scored senior Mallorie Link and put the Lady Titans up 1-0.
Next, Jasmyn Lee, a sophomore, belted a sacrifice fly to right and that scored Walsh, which extended the Toll Gate edge to 2-0.
In the second inning, Toll Gate tacked on 10 more runs.
First, Hawes helped her own cause by blasting an RBI single through the middle and knocking in Amanda Penney, which put Toll Gate on top 3-0.
Next, Kate Ferns hit a single and brought home her sister Kiley, and that extended the Lady Titans advantage to 4-0.
Then, the Lady Titans upped their buffer to 5-0 when Link earned an infield hit, and scored Hawes.
At that point, the East defense got flustered and when Toll Gate’s Walsh hit a routine ground ball towards first base, it went through the legs of the first baseman for an error, and that allowed both Link and Kate Ferns to score, which increased the Lady Titans lead to 7-0.
Four batters later, Penney earned a bases-loaded walk and pushed the Lady Titans margin to 8-0. Next, Hawes worked a bases-loaded walked of her own, and upped the Toll Gate lead to 9-0.
After that, Kate Ferns earned a walk with the bases jammed, which increased the Toll Gate lead to 10-0. Then, Link added an infield hit, which scored Kate Ferns and put the Lady Titans up 11-0.
Lastly, Walsh socked a single down the first baseline, which scored Hawes, and ballooned the Lady Titans advantage to 12-0.
East got a run back in the bottom of the second when Brooke Rogers, a freshman, drove in Carnevale, which got the Bolts on the board at 12-1.
Then in the third inning, the Bolts seized another run when Carnevale hit a single to left field and drove in Katia Reyes, a sophomore, and pulled East within 12-2.
However, in the fourth frame, Toll Gate added to its advantage when with runners at the corners, the Lady Titans executed a double steal, which ended with Link scoring and putting Toll Gate up 13-2.
Next, Armstrong rocketed a 2-run home run over the left-center field fence and ballooned the Toll Gate lead to 15-2.
The senior third baseman was all smiles after hammering her first dinger.
“It feels so good,” Armstrong said. “I was so happy.”
And Armstrong is confident that this is only the beginning for the Lady Titans, who improve to 4-2 on the season with the victory.
“We’re going to do damage this year,” Armstrong said. “I’ve been saying that since September. We’re going to do so much damage. We’ve got a great group of girls this year and we’re just going to kill it.”
East’s Rogers drove in Megan Nota, a junior, in the bottom of the fourth and inched the Bolts to 15-3.