The Pilgrim softball team would jump out to 7-0 lead in the first inning and hold off Cranston East the rest of the way as the Patriots picked up a 10-0 win in five innings on Friday afternoon at Pilgrim.
The Patriots would collect five hits and get eight runners on base to bring the pressure early. Cat Fallon and Jill Ricci also had back-to-back home runs for the second straight game to put the exclamation point on the big inning and the win.
“I’m very blessed with my top-five (in the order), I think it goes even deeper than that. I’ll put that top-five up against any top-five around. When Jill provides that kind of protection to Cat, it’s going to make Cat better. I’ve been very happy with the production at the top of the order,” said Pilgrim coach Paul Kennedy.
Megan Cooney got the ball rolling with an RBI double in the first inning. Fallon hit a three-run shot the next at bat followed by a solo shot from Ricci to push the score to 5-0. Destinee Charette later knocked a runner home on a groundout while Madison D’Amato hit an RBI single to make it 7-0.
“It was nice. We got them out 1-2-3 in the top half of the first then scored seven early to set the tone. We didn’t score in (the next) inning so it was nice to get that lead. It takes the pressure off your pitcher, takes the pressure off your defense, it helps you play defense. It was nice to get that jump.”
The Lady Bolts would settle down after the first, not allowing a Pilgrim run until the fourth inning.
“I give the girls a lot of credit, they battled. I started my left fielder today (in the circle), our starter needed a day’s rest. After the first inning they settled down. We’re just inexperienced and that’s what we’ve been dealing with this year,” said Cranston East coach PJ Bessette after the loss.
Pilgrim would add two runs in the fourth on a two-run single from Mackenzie Hough to make it 9-0. The final run would be walked home in the fifth inning to set the score to 10-0.
Pilgrim pitcher Emily Carter got the win in the circle, pitching five innings and allowing no runs on five hits while striking out three.
Despite the lopsided loss, Bessette was proud of his team which is one of the youngest groups in the division.
“The girls are learning, they’re trying. We’re just not on the same level as Pilgrim, Moses Brown or Cranston West this year. We’re just inexperienced. We knew what to expect going in to this game. We knew it was going to be a good game for (Pilgrim) and they went out and hit two home runs in the first inning. Were we going to win this game? No. But we competed and that’s all I asked of the girls and I’m going to tell them on the bus, ‘Keep your heads up. You lost 10-0 but it was 7-0 after the first and you competed all the way through,’” said Bessette.
Pilgrim improves to 9-2 on the year and extends its winning streak to six games. Kennedy is pleased with where the Patriots are as the regular season winds down.
“It was a complete win from top to bottom. We hit well, we fielded well, we pitched well. We’re putting everything together, this is back to back games now with no errors. One thing that we try to hop on is our defense so 12 innings with no errors and two runs, we’re really happy with where we are. At 9-2 we have the second-best record in Division I … it’s a nice place to be,” said Kennedy. “We just need to keep that momentum going. There are 17 teams in Division I with only one ahead of us. It’s a nice place to be.”