Posted Online: March 29, 2013, 8:25 pm

Rocket bats overshadow miscues in season-opening romp

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By Terry Duckett, tduckett@qconline.com

EDGINGTON -- The early-season miscues were there for both the Ridgewood and Rockridge softball teams in their long-awaited season opener Friday afternoon.

But while the Spartans' mistakes proved costly, the Rockets used their prodigious hitting attack to smooth over their rough spots. Batting around in the first two innings to score 16 runs, Rockridge roared to a 21-4, five-inning romp.

Led by Bri Olson's 2-for-3, four-RBI day that included a first-inning home run, the Rockets were able to overcome five errors. Of the four runs Ridgewood scored against freshman pitchers Tayah Hayes and Lexi DeKeyrel, only one was earned.

"We know we're going to hit from top to bottom, so this is no big surprise,'' said Rockridge coach Jason Lingle, whose freshman daughter Erin went 2-for-2 in her prep debut. Gabe Mueller was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Jenna Carroll also had three hits. Michaela Stoneking had two hits and three RBIs and Genna Flaherty added two hits and two ribbies.

"If I had to pick out one, I'd say Bri; she got into a high fastball and really hit it far. As a whole, I was really impressed with all of the girls.''

Such a display of hitting made the mistakes in the field -- partly attributed to limited time outside due to the weather -- much easier to take.

"We've only been outside a couple of times, so we kind of expected that,'' said Lingle. "We've been indoors with the bouncy ball, and most of our mistakes were the ball getting under the glove. I thought we got better as the day went on. We're just glad to get outside; it's a starting point, and we'll get better as the year goes on.''

The Spartans looked primed to give returning head coach Lyndsey Jackson a fitting welcoming gift when they struck for the game's opening run in the top of the first inning. Madison Miller singled, took third on an error, then came home on Ashley Collins' sacrifice bunt.

But apart from that fast start, Collins' two RBIs and two hits each from Miller and Addison Barman provided Ridgewood with its only highlights on a long day.