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Vista softball holds on to beat Oak Ridge, 5-3

By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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The Vista del Lago softball team left the Oak Ridge diamond as winners of a fourth straight game with a 5-3 victory over the Lady Trojans on Monday afternoon. Starter Morgan Theis tossed 5 1/3 innings, giving up just three runs on six hits before handing the ball over to Olivia Brown for the save. Vista held a 5-1 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth, where Oak Ridge seemed to finally figure Theis out. After being hit with a pitch, Jackie Schmaeling went from first to third on a single by Lauren Bertoy and then scored on a groundout to cut the Oak Ridge deficit to three. Brown then relieved Theis in the circle for the Lady Eagles and with the bases loaded, Oak Ridge designated hitter Caitlyn 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. “When Olivia came on, she had a little bit of a rough outing but the kids hung with her and encouraged her and she settled down and got some key outs,” said Vista coach Robert Reed. Vista jumped on Oak Ridge in the early innings, getting two runs in the first on an RBI-single from Guidry before her sister Catherine lined a double down the third base line in the second inning, scoring Isabella Nicosia. The Guidry sisters each made stellar defensive plays behind Theis and Brown as well. “I thought we played really well defensively. We’ve got some veterans on a pretty solid team,” said Reed, whose squad is now 5-2 on the season. “I thought we had a good week last week and now it’s about trying to become consistent and build on those good weeks.” Alyssa Burns went five innings before Christina Arace came in to throw two scoreless frames in relief for Oak Ridge. Zito had a pair of hits and a stolen base for the Lady Trojans, who are now 3-8 on the season before beginning league play this week. “We just didn’t make adjustments at the plate early on. Had we done that, we could have made it a different game,” said Oak Ridge coach Sam 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.”