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Ritchie rocks Madonna in game one win

Ritchie County’s Alyvia Pittman hits a sacrifice fly to right field during the fourth inning to give the host Rebels a 4-2 lead. Ritchie County won the opening game of the Class A, Region I best-of-three series Tuesday evening against visiting Madonna, 7-2.

ELLENBORO — Landry Bone launched a two-run bomb in the first inning for visiting Madonna here Tuesday evening in the Class A, Region I best-of-three series, but it was all Ritchie County after that as the host Rebels rallied for a 7-2 victory.

“I didn’t know how good they were,” admitted Rebel skipper Dave Mossor, whose squad improved to 20-5 and will try to sweep the Blue Dons starting at 6 p.m. today on the road. “Chloe (Elliott) grooved the pitch against their pitcher, but we came back. I said, ‘just stay right in there.'”

Madonna leadoff hitter Madalena Daugherty reached on a throwing error to open the game. After Elliott fanned Miranda Sole for the first of her baker’s dozen strikeouts, Bone connected for a round-tripper to give the visitors early momentum.

“I just threw a fastball kind of a little bit down the middle and she just jammed it over,” admitted Elliott, who finished with a three-hitter that included issuing one free pass and allowing one earned run.

“Our bats weren’t working in the first inning, but as soon as we got our bats on her we were hitting the ball and scoring. It feels really good to get the win first thing and going up tomorrow and hopefully getting the win there and not coming back down here.”

Scoring chances for the Blue Dons (13-9) were few and far between after that. Casey Yacos singled to open the second and was sacrificed by Mia Pietranton. Although Elliott plunked No. 9 hitter Carmela Pulice, she fanned Daugherty to get out of the jam.

Madonna’s only other hit the rest of the way was a one-out single by Bone in the third.

Elliott walked Yacos in the fourth and hit Maddie Cross in the sixth, but neither runner reached scoring position.

A three-run third off Bone, who allowed nine hits, seven earned runs while walking five and striking out five, put the Rebels ahead for good. Marissa Jeffrey and Elliott drew consecutive one-out base on balls and cleanup hitter Olivia Dodd followed with a run-scoring double. Lillie Law then delivered a two-run single to center that plated courtesy runner Kiarra Weekley and Dodd.

The Rebels, who had the bases loaded in the second with no outs but failed to score, pushed ahead 4-2 in the third. Maci Ireland’s single started the frame and No. 9 hitter Chaslyn Jones reached on a one-out infield single. Ireland crossed on leadoff hitter Alyvia Pittman’s sacrifice fly.

In the fifth, Dodd reached on a fielder’s choice and after Jayci Gray drew a two-out free pass, Ireland delivered a two-run double down the left-field line.

Ritchie County added an insurance tally in the sixth when Pittman tripled to right-center and scored on Elliott’s RBI knock back up the box.

“We started out really good and we left some people on base early in the game and could’ve got around and scored a couple runs,” said MHS head coach Cris Conti. whose squad dropped to 13-9. “When we did hit the ball we hit it right at them, and she pitched a good game.

“It seemed like she got a little stronger later in the game. We played good. We had a couple walks that hurt us a little bit, but that’s why it’s best out of three.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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