10th-ranked Stags stagger the Gaels; Two big innings blow open cold and rainy contest.


Byline: John McGuirk

CLINTON - Stating the obvious, neither Tahanto Regional nor Clinton High were overly thrilled about playing in yesterday's cold, steady rain.

But after a weather-shortened, six-inning game, the Stags came away enthused with an 18-4 victory at Clinton Veterans' Athletic Complex.

Two huge innings spelled the difference. Tenth-ranked Tahanto scored nine runs in the second and eight in the sixth to improve to 10-2. The Stags belted 18 hits against three Gaels pitchers.

"It was a tough day to play," Tahanto coach Steve Pacheco said. "But our girls did what it took to get a victory. All the pitchers seemed to have trouble getting the ball over the plate because of the conditions, but I thought our girls came up big with the bats. It was one of our best offensive performances of the year."

Tahanto got to the Gaels (4-7) in the second inning by sending 14 batters to the plate, collecting seven hits, and taking advantage of four Clinton errors to take an 8-0 lead. Junior Caitlin Keefe started things with a long triple to right and came around on a wild pitch - one of eight thrown by the Gaels. RBI singles by Amy Waller (three hits) and Amanda DiGioia (two hits) helped the Stags.

Clinton got one run back in the bottom of the inning. Junior Enique Favreau doubled and scored on a wild pitch.

Tahanto junior pitcher Laura Murphy went the distance, scattering four hits while striking out five. But she wasn't able to escape problems with a wet ball, issuing six walks and throwing five wild pitches.

After a couple of scoreless innings, the Stags added a solo run in the fifth. Kaycee Cipro opened with a walk and stole second. After moving to third on Waller's single, the freshman came home on DiGiola's single to left to make it 10-1.

To the Gaels' credit, they refused to give in.

Clinton methodically chipped away at the Stags. In the fifth, Kelsey Kilcoyne led off with a single...

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