A chilly, rainy, breezy afternoon could not cool down the softball team from Glendale Mountain Ridge.
Host Peoria Liberty wasn’t able to, either, as Mountain Ridge rolled to an 11-3 victory on Wednesday (April 2).
Mountain Ridge (17-3-1) gained the upper hand early by scoring five runs in the first inning and three more in the second for an 8-3 lead.
“It helps you relax, pitching- and defense-wise, when you score early like that,’’ Mountain Ridge coach Michele Markham said.
“We did the same thing against Willow (Canyon, an 11-4 win on Monday, March 31). We’ve just been coming in ready to play. We’re seeing the ball (when batting) and being aggressive.’’
Liberty (12-7) scored three runs in the first inning without a hit, on three walks and a hit batter. Mountain Ridge pitcher Kaylin Ayotte was having trouble gripping the ball as the rain was intermittent.
Markham decided to switch to her other co-No. 1, left-hander Giselle Juarez, and she fared much better. Juarez gave up just two hits in 6 2/3 innings.
“We feel we have a good combo with our pitchers,’’ Markham said. “If one of them is off, the other steps in and picks it up.’’
Mountain Ridge has only one senior (catcher Corrin Green), but many of her underclassmen have seen a lot of playing time over the last few years, and that makes it seem like they are older.
“Our lineup has been pretty consistent,’’ Markham said.
Third baseman Jailene Carpio drove in three runs and Ayotte, who remained in the game at first base, proved she can still have an impact by driving in two runs. The Mountain Lions finished with 13 hits.
Mountain Ridge and Liberty both play again on Thursday (April 3), Mountain Ridge at Phoenix Sunnyslope and Liberty at Peoria Centennial.