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Lady Trojan softball team enters spring break with 10-3 record

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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Oak Ridge High’s softball team enters spring break with a 10-3 record, coming off a pair of wins over Christian Brothers and Folsom.

The games, however, couldn’t have been much different.

“We played one of our best games of the year against Christian Brothers, but followed it with one of our worst,” Oak Ridge coach Sam Kloczko said. “We found a way to win against Folsom, though, and that was good. I’m not surprised we came back.”

In the win over Christian Brothers, hits were scarce and runs were nearly non-existent. Oak Ridge managed three hits off Haley Snyder and struck out nine times. When batters did reach base, however, they were dangerous, as Oak Ridge had seven steals, two apiece from Michelle Bardini, Amber Orchard and Jessica Burgess, as well as one from Katelyn Castro. Bardini and Orchard had singles in the game, while Lindsey Zito hit a double.

Oak Ridge’s only run came in the third inning when Burgess scored on a squeeze attempt on an error by Snyder.

“I think Snyder is one of the better pitchers in the area and we had to fight to get that run off her,” Kloczko said. “That was Alyssa’s (Burns) best game of the season.”

Burns allowed four hits and struck out four in the shutout. Like her team, Burns is off to a good start this season.

“I think it’s because she’s got confidence,” Kloczko said. “She was coming off hip surgery last year and that affected her. Being healthy at the start of the season has helped her this year and she’s got confidence now. When we play defense behind her, we’re a dangerous team.”

Oak Ridge trailed Folsom 5-3 in their Delta River League opener Thursday until the top of the sixth inning when it scored five runs to take the lead. Castro’s high fly ball with the bases loaded fell in shallow left field to score Burgess to make the score 5-4. When Orchard walked that forced Renee Bardini across the plate to tie the game. A wild pitch scored Michelle Bardini and an error allowed Castro to touch home plate, and Oak Ridge had a 7-5 lead. Bailey Cook’s double scored Orchard to end the scoring in the sixth.

The Lady Trojans added a final run in the seventh on Castro’s single.

Castro started the game on the mound and pitched until she got herself into trouble in the third inning.

“Katelyn is fighting through nerves as a freshman,” Kloczko said. “It’s a confidence issue. Once she gets through that I think she’ll be fine.”

Oak Ridge’s next game is at home April 3 against Vista del Lago.