NEW CANAAN -- Greenwich senior Erin Ferguson led a four-run fourth inning to permanently put her team ahead in an eventual 9-5 Cardinals win at New Canaan Friday afternoon. The senior catcher slugged a three-run triple with two outs and caught all seven innings, while Greenwich starter Jessie Schelz picked up a complete game victory. Rams' junior Jamie Schlim made her first career start for New Canaan, allowing two earned runs and eight in total as her teammates committed five errors.
Greenwich (2-0, 2-0 FCIAC) overcame an early 3-0 deficit, tacking on two runs in each of the third and fifth frames around its game-deciding fourth inning. While the Cardinals registered just four hits on the afternoon, they drew six walks and moved runners over with multiple sacrifice bunts.
"Over the years, it's always taken us an inning or two to get on and see the pitcher," Greenwich coach Mary Beth Fratello said. "Once they see the pitcher once or twice, they get on her, but I don't want to wait. We want to be aggressive, and that's what we did later."
The Rams (0-2, 0-2 FCIAC) cut into the Cardinals' lead in the bottom of the fifth with a home run from freshman catcher Molly Keshin. Keshin finished 3-for-4 with 3 RBI, though many of her classmates struggled defensively, which led to three Greenwich runs in the middle innings. New Canaan also left the bases loaded in both the third and fourth innings.
"Our rule is once you leave the field, it is done," New Canaan coach Danielle Simoneau said. "We try to move on, and at the end of the day, they are freshmen. While they have played the game before, it's a whole new level. And overall, I'm very proud of them. Molly's been doing a great job for us."
Senior hurler Ali Reilly came in to relieve Schlim in the top of the fifth inning with one out and runners on first and third. Within moments of stepping inside the circle, she induced a groundball to shortstop as both runners took off. While the Rams infield recorded an out at first base, it failed to react in time to stop both runs from coming around to score and hand Greenwich an 8-3 lead.
The runs concluded a tough day Schlim, who admittedly struggled with her control as the game wore on.
"Some pitches I was just throwing down the middle and others I was missing my spots," Schlim said. "Later, it was more of a mental thing. I think I kind of gave up (trying to hit specific spots) after the errors."
Greenwich returns to the diamond Saturday in New Jersey against Wayne Valley High School at 5 p.m. New Canaan is also scheduled to play Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. at Woodland.
Greenwich 9, New Canaan 5
GREENWICH 002 420 1--9 4 3
NEW CANAAN 300 020 0--5 12 5
Records: Greenwich 2-0, 2-0 FCIAC; New Canaan 0-2, 0-2 FCIAC. Batteries: G--Jessie Schelz (W, 1-0) and Erin Ferguson; NC--Jamie Schlim (L, 0-1), Ali Reilly (5) and Molly Keshin.
Highlights: G--Erin Ferguson hit a three-run triple in the fourth inning for the Cardinals' first hit of the game. NC--Molly Keshin hit a home run to centerfield in the fifth inning.