St. Luke's softball knocks off undefeated King
Updated 2:31 pm, Wednesday, April 29, 2015
St. Luke's Varsity Softball rode a three run first inning to a resounding 6-2 road win at King to end the Vikings' bid at an undefeated season on Monday.
King, which entered the game at 8-0, plated a pair in the second, but never took a lead against St. Luke's pitcher Marissa Ruschil. The senior scattered three hits over her seven innings of work, while striking out nine. Her complete game win pushed the Storm's record to (4-2).
Three consecutive singles put King's Kelly Conheeney in a bases loaded, none out jam to start the game. In an unorthodox move, the Vikings then walked Marissa Ruschil to force in a run. The walk was one of four on the day for the pitcher and cleanup hitter. But King couldn't escape the early crisis. After striking out first baseman Avery Bachman, Conheeney surrendered a two run single to freshman left fielder Emma Castiglione, a New Canaan native.
The 3-0 lead was soon trimmed to 3-2. Catcher Casey Correa doubled, plating Idalis Figueroa, who had also connected for a two-bagger. An error on centerfielder Elizabeth Kremer allowed Correa to score, reducing the St. Luke's lead to one.
But St. Luke's capitalized on another bases loaded scenario in the second, as Bachman, a senior from New Canaan, ripped a one-out hit to plate Maya Klein and Noelle Ruschil (sister and battery-mate of Marissa), who had both singled.
King mounted its biggest challenge in the bottom of the sixth. After striking out leadoff hitter Jenna Della Jacono, Ruschil hit Figueroa before walking Correa. But the St. Luke's ace, who will play for Dickinson College next season, induced Conheeney to line to center and Grace Linnon to ground out to second.
"Everything clicked," said St. Luke's coach Troy Haynie of his team's performance. "It's a huge win. King's a very good club."
A Maya Klein triple added an insurance run in the top of the seventh, and Ruschil, who allowed only one earned run on the day, struck out two in the final frame to seal the win.
Now sporting a 3-1 record in FAA play, St. Luke's looks to secure a spot near the top of the league. With King's loss, Rye Country Day remains the only undefeated team in Fairchester play. (St. Luke's dropped a 14-6 decision to the Wildcats in mid-April; King has yet to play them).
Three games loom large for the Storm on the immediate horizon: good performances against Masters on Thursday, Hopkins on Friday, and Holy Child-another top team-on Monday could secure home-field advantage for the FAA tournament.