© Star photo by Geraldine Brophy
KSAB Rangers’ Lori Patey trots across the homeplate for a run scored while Whelan's Gate catcher Cassandra Park keeps an eye on the rest of the field during the ladies softball league season opener Monday at Ambrose O'Reilly Memorial FIeld.
The KSAB Rangers wasted little time shaking off the rust from a long off-season.
Donna Clarke went the distance from the pitcher’s circle and chipped in with four singles to lead her Rangers to a 22-14 win over Whelan’s Gate in the opening game of the Corner Brook Molson Ladies Softball League at Ambrose O’Reilly Memorial Field on Monday.
In seven innings of work, Clarke scattered 22 hits and three walks to go along with nine strikeouts. She also walked and came around to score four times to help her cause.
Gate hurler Nikki Rose went six innings and surrendered 27 hits and three walks while fanning seven Rangers along the way in the losing effort.
Chantel Ryan belted a double and scored four runs in a perfect 5-for-5 effort at the dish for the victors. Rangers catcher Megan Colbourne had four singles and scored three times.
For the Gate, Niki Warford went 5-for-5 with four runs scored, while Peggy Colbourne ripped a pair of doubles and scored once.
The Rangers opened the scoring with five runs in the first before the Gate replied with four in the bottom of the inning. The teams were tied at 12 after five, but the Rangers outscored the Gate 10-2 over the final two innings to pull away for good.
Following the game, Megan Colbourne said while the win was nice, it was perhaps most important to iron out any kinks in advance of a long season of ball.
Catching her first game in three years, she said she had a good view of some solid fielding on her team’s part.
Still, she believes a potent offence could be the strength of her squad this summer.
“Our hitting was really good tonight,” Colbourne said. “I’m glad to see players that are coming back are hitting the ball and getting used to it.”
Meanwhile, Gate coach Lenny Benoit said it will take time for his club to reach the level which led to a championship last season.
While pleased with how his team battle, he said there are clearly areas requiring fine-tuning.
“You’ve got to see them in action to know what’s working and what isn’t,” Benoit said.
“Our bats were working tonight ... defence is what we have to work on — we need to get a little more solid and go from there.”