NEWCOMERSTOWN -- A complete-game shut out by Sydney Zinkon lifted visiting Ridgewood High over host Newcomerstown High 5-0, in an Inter-Valley Conference clash between the backyard rivals on Monday evening.
Zinkon went the distance for the Lady Generals, striking out six Lady Trojans and walking one while only surrendering three hits in the shutout.
"Sydney is coming around," offered Ridgewood coach Kirby Shivers of the promising sophomore. "She had a rough first game, but since then she has barred down. She is capable of being a great pitcher and keeping us in every game, as long as our defense shows up for her."
Raegan Smith, another promising under-classmen, took the mound for Newcomerstown and struck out nine batters while only handing out two free passes. The southpaw surrendered only four earned runs on six hits.
"Raegan pitched well for us," said Newcomerstwon coach Raymond Moore of the freshman. "She did exactly what I asked of her tonight, she just didn't get any help offensively and the defense made too many errors."
The Lady Generals opened the first inning with three consecutive hits via Audrey Tingle, Zinkon and Autumn Brown. The trio combined for four stolen bases in the first frame, three singles and three RBIs to give Ridgewood an early 3-0 advantage.
"It always helps to get that early lead," said Shivers. "Those three first-inning runs were big for us because it boosted our confidence and it gave Sydney a lead to work with on the mound."
Ridgewood manufactured another run in the third inning, which was led off by Zinkon who drew a one-out walk, followed by a triple off the bat of Brown to deep right-center field, extending the Lady Generals' lead to 4-0 after three.
The visitors tacked on their final run in the sixth inning when Rachel Simpson was awarded first base on after being hit by a pitch and proceeded to score on a pair of throwing errors by Newcomerstown.
Leading the way for the Newcomerstown offense was Caitlin Durr, Leah Kellish and Cheyenne McMullen who all had one single.
Ridgewood was paced by Brown with two hits including a triple to go along with a pair of RBIs while Zinkon roped a pair of singles to right field and chipped in with one RBI.
The Lady Trojans left seven runners stranded in the loss and coach Moore wants to see more clutch hits and more offensive productivity in general.
"We only had three hits tonight," admitted Moore. "Your not going to win games with only three hits and we need more offensive production out of the top of our lineup. When the girls at the top of the lineup start to get hits and get on base, it becomes contagious and the rest of the batting order starts to hit the ball."
Ridgewood, winners of four straight, look to continue its consistent play.
"We have been a new team ever since our first loss," said Shriver. "We got beat pretty bad in the first game, then in the second game against Hiland, we had a big comeback and our confidence has been high ever since."