The Cranston East Lady Bolts were topped by Toll Gate 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, 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 while East junior Arianna Miech started in the circle for East where she lasted 3 1/3 innings and struck out one.
“Arianna did pretty well today,” Cranston East manager Jesse Richard said. “She’s been working hard all year. She’s inexperienced, but she took the initiative to work hard in the offseason and come back. And she’s doing well for us now.”
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 ten 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.
Toll Gate’s Walsh hit a routine ground ball towards first base that resulted in an error, and 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. 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 within 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.
East’s Rogers drove in Megan Nota, a junior, in the bottom of the fourth and inched the Bolts within 15-3.
The Lady Bolts fall to 2-7 with the defeat, but Richard and his squad can take away some positives from the contest.
“We see some good things mixed in there,” Richard said. “We made some good plays in the field. We have a lot of inexperience on the team, so we’re working hard and they’re getting better every day.”
“We had some girls playing positions today that they’ve never played before,” Richard added. “So, they’re learning a new position and they’re playing well. A good, hard effort. That’s really all you can ask for. That was a tough team. That girl (Hawes) could pitch. So, kudos to them. It was a good game.”