For The Dialog
WILMINGTON – Rory Kendle and Antonia Browning hit home runs to lead Ursuline to a 4-1 win over St. Elizabeth on May 19. The Raiders’ road victory at Canby Park spoiled the Vikings’ senior day.
Browning was dealing on the mound early as she struck out the first six batters she faced. Vikings pitcher Julia Casson also was tossing up zeros as she gave up a single to Kendle in the first but kept the Raiders off the board for three innings.
Ursuline struck in the fourth. Kendle led off with a shot past the leftfielder, and she raced around the bases for a 1-0 lead. Kendle noted that she saw a trend from Casson.
“I noticed that the first pitches were down-the-middle strikes, so I was waiting for it, sat back and drove it deep,” she said.
The Raiders kept the pressure on as Gina Hallman walked and Grace Nordmeyer hit an infield single to put runners at first and second with no outs. Browning then snacked a three-run homer, also to left field, to give the Raiders a 4-0 lead.
Browning had shut-down innings in the fourth and fifth, but the Vikings put some pressure on in the sixth. Leighton Trimarco, a slap hitter from the left side, beat out an infield single and stole second. She reached third on a passed ball with one out. Claudia Ronconne laid down the perfect suicide squeeze to score Trimarco, and Roncone reached second on an error.
Browning got out of the inning with no more damage and picked up her 11th strikeout to end the frame. The Raiders then retired the Vikings in order in the seventh on three groundouts.
Browning talked about her early strike out success. “I noticed they were chasing the high and inside, so I just focused on throwing it there and then dropping out and low and getting them to chase.”
Both teams are back in action Friday at 3:45 p.m. The Raiders (7-7) travel to Dickinson, while St. Elizabeth (5-9) is at Christiana for a 3:45 start tomorrow. For the Vikings, Thursday’s game began a regular season-ending stretch of five games in six days thanks to the rainy spring.