TOMS RIVER-The Toms River Mariners jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning at home against the Jackson Liberty Lions, but the Lions took the lead in the second inning and never looked back.
In the second inning, Kayla Hayes started things for the Lions with a lead off single to right field, followed by a Kaylee Book walk. Pitcher DJ Diodato ripped a hard ground ball to right field scoring Hayes.
Ashleigh Tavaska followed Diodato by hitting a hard line drive up the middle for a double, scoring Book and Diodato. Emily Dubiago continued the rally with a double to right field, scoring Tavaska. Erin Stilton capped the inning with a single to left field, scoring Dubiago. At the end of the inning, Liberty held a 5-2 lead over the Mariners.
In the third inning, Hayes had another lead off single to right. Diodato hit a solid double to right, driving in Hayes for a 6-2 lead. Diodato pitched solid second, third and fourth inning to keep the Mariners at bay as the Lions extended their lead in the top of the fifth inning.
The fifth inning started off with Book hitting a deep fly ball over the center fielder’s head, reaching second base.
Diodato and Marissa Southon each reached base on errors, loading the bases for Heather Tsapp who drew a four pitch walk to score Book. Tavaska singled to right, driving in Southon. Dubiago drilled a lined drive to center scoring Diodato and Tsapp.
Stilton hit a deep fly ball to right field for the first out of the inning, but Tavaska was able to safely tag from third to home and Dubiago to third base. Illiana Flores continued the Lions’ hit parade with a sharp single to right field, scoring Dubiago.
After 5 innings, the Lions were ready to close the 12-2 game in the bottom of the inning, but the Mariners were able to put four more runs on the board to stay alive.
In the sixth inning, Book led off the inning with a home run shot over the centerfield fence, to make the score 13-6. Diodato hit another double to center, followed by Tsapp driving in Southon, who reached on a walk earlier in the inning.
Dubiago at the plate again drilled another ball into the outfield, scoring Diodato. Stilton following Dubiago scored Tavaska from third, who also reach on a walk, hitting another hard shot to right field. Kaylee Book then drove in Stilton on a line drive base hit.
The Lions (2-1) defeated the Mariners 19-7 for their second win of the season. Diodato earned her second win from the circle, pitching six innings, striking out three.