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Lady Trojans upend Pleasant Grove, 4-1

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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Oak Ridge entered spring break on a high note, picking up a league win Friday with a 4-1 victory over Pleasant Grove. The win evened Oak Ridge’s league record at 1-1, while the team improved to 4-8 overall. Not only was it a league win, but coach Sam Kloczko said it was the team’s best win of the season. “It was our biggest win and it’s the best team we’ve beaten,” Kloczko said. “It gives the team some confidence. I keep telling them that we’re better than our record and hopefully they will take it to heart and believe it. We played really well and competed for seven innings. It was the best game we’ve played, especially defensively. Our pitchers also threw well and hit their spots.” Christina Arace pitched the first 4 1/3 innings, allowing one run on a bloop hit in the third, which tied the game. Arace scattered six hits and struck out one before Alyssa Burns replaced her, finishing the last 2 2/3 innings and allowing only one hit. Offensively, Lauren Bertoy had another good game with two hits, a double and a home run, two runs scored and one RBI. Bertoy gave Oak Ridge a 1-0 lead in the first with her home run. After the Eagles tied the game in the third, Oak Ridge scored three runs in the fifth. Renee Bardini singled and Jackie Schmaeling drove her in with a two-run home run. Later Caitlyn Olan knocked in Bertoy with another hit. Olan finished with two hits and an RBI. Oak Ridge opened the week with a 5-3 loss to Vista del Lago on March 26. Trailing 5-1 the Lady Trojans rallied in the sixth. After being hit with a pitch, Schmaeling went from first to third on a single by Bertoy and then scored on a groundout to cut the Oak Ridge deficit to three. Olivia Brown then relieved Vista starter Morgan Theis in the circle and with the bases loaded, Olan hit a comebacker that Brown couldn’t field cleanly as Bertoy scored from third. Brown left the bases loaded, getting Ana Campos to ground to shortstop Christina Guidry, who threw home to get the force out and denied Oak Ridge another run. Oak Ridge threatened again in the bottom of the seventh as Renee Bardini worked a leadoff walk and Schmaeling followed with a single. The Lady Trojans got both runners into scoring position with two outs before Brown got Lindsey Zito to pop up and end the game. Vista jumped on Oak Ridge in the early innings, getting two runs in the first and one in the second off Burns, who went five innings before Arace came in to throw two scoreless frames in relief. Zito had a pair of hits and a stolen base. “We just didn’t make adjustments at the plate early on. Had we done that, we could have made it a different game,” said Kloczko. “Just get your toes up on the line and trying to hit the ball the opposite way. We practice it a lot and sometimes it just takes a couple times through the lineup to get comfortable doing it in the game. You have to make adjustments immediately, not wait until the fifth inning.” Nick Pecoraro contributed to this story.