By Jim Hintelmann
LITTLE SILVER – After playing well since the start of the season, Red Bank Regional’s softball team, 4-2, ran into problems Monday in a B Division North game against Ocean Township.
Taking advantage of a number of Lady Buc errors, Ocean, 3-2, scored three runs in both of the third and sixth inning and went on to a 9-3 victory.
“Today we were a little flat,” said Red Bank coach Denise D’Esposito. “I was disappointed because, up until today, we had been playing very well and were hitting the ball.
“We beat Monmouth Regional with a run in the seventh inning last week and then beat Point Boro in nine innings the following day,” said D’Esposito.
Red Bank took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning on a two-run double by Brielle Pennington, who also had another double in the fifth.
Ocean, hitless in the first two innings, broke through with three runs in the third inning helped by a costly Red Bank infield error on a grounder by leadoff batter, Gabby Ferrara.
Ferrara stole second and scored on Veronica Woehr’s RBI double. Giovanna Russomanno and Morgan Walsh followed with RBI hits for a 3-2 lead.
“We were a little tired today and let the game get away from us,” said D’Esposito.
Red Bank tied the game in the third when Kaylee Hartman singled, moved to third on an error and was driven in by Jess Stevenson’s sacrifice fly.
The Spartans, though, took the lead for good in the fourth inning with a pair of runs on two Lady Buc errors and RBI infield outs by Russomanno and Sabrina Batista.
Woehr knocked in the sixth Ocean run with a single in the fifth and then the Spartans broke it open with three more runs in the sixth highlighted by Ferrara’s two-run single.
Winning pitcher Micheala Pembleton settled down after Red Bank scored its third run and retired the last 10 batters of the game.
“We have a couple of freshmen on our varsity roster,” said D’Esposito, “but this is a more seasoned team that last year. We have a lot of seniors and juniors on the team.”