Prep wins game early

The saying in baseball and softball is that hitting can often be contagious.

The Flintridge Prep softball team accentuated that point in the second inning of Tuesday afternoon's 9-2 Prep League victory over visiting Chadwick.

After two outs early in the inning, the Rebels hammered out six hits, capitalized on four Dolphins errors and sent 12 batters to the plate en route to tallying seven runs in the frame. The outburst gave Prep a lead it would never surrender.

“That happens in a lot of games,” said Flintridge Prep catcher Emma Vine, who crushed a two-run double in the decisive second frame. “When one person gets a hit, we feed off each other so it just turns into a big thing.”

Kelsey Merchant, who finished the game with two singles and a run batted in, picked up the first hit of the inning, but was then quickly gunned out at second base on Alina Okamoto's fielder's choice for the second out of the inning.

It appeared as if Chadwick starter Lindsay Spzer was going to breeze through the frame, but that's when the floodgates opened.

Prep's next nine batters reached base, three via Dolphins errors that would have got them out of the trouble, and the rout was on.

Kaitlin French, Vine and Lydia Kay all collected run-scoring hits to help put Prep comfortably ahead.

“The sooner you can give yourself a lead, the better you are able to breathe,” Rebels Coach Julie Jaime said.

The Rebels (11-2, 7-0 in league) seemed to be relaxed from that point on, as junior pitcher Lydia Kay allowed her fielders to make plays in her six scoreless innings.

Kay (11-2), who scattered six hits, allowed a baserunner every inning, but none were able to score thanks to some solid defense.

“When it comes down to it, we do what we need to do to get back up,” Vine said.

Flintridge Prep tacked on a run in the third when Alina Khodadian plated Kelly Wang, who scored twice, with a double to right field.

The Rebels' final tally of the contest came when pinch runner Sidney Golombeck, who ran for Vine, hustled all the way home from second base on a Merchant groundout to short.

Chadwick (8-6, 3-5) was able to squeeze out two runs in the seventh, but it was too little, too late. Caroline Edmondson finished with three hits, a run scored and a run batted in for the Dolphins.

With Tuesday's victory, the Rebels, who have now won six straight games and nine of their last 10, now sit comfortably atop the league standings with a target on their backs.

Prep will travel to Westridge at 3:30 p.m. Friday, before taking on second-place Pasadena Poly (8-8, 6-1) in a huge showdown next week.

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