Hot bats lift Marlboro over Howell

Ally Hochstader had four RBI and Skyla Campisi blasted a two-run home run in Marlboro's 13-1 victory over the Howell Rebels in Howell.

Rain caused the Mustangs to miss a few games, but the team was ready to go offensively, with hot bats from the start.

"We have a good group of kids who want to be here every day," Marlboro head coach Nick Scalzo told Jersey Sporting News. "We kept it light all week, going through our technique and a lot of mental stuff and had a little fun at practice. I think that kept them loose and focused."

And focused they were. Campisi got the scoring started in the top of the first, ripping a home run over the center-field fence to bring home Alyson Levito. Sophomore Amy Fitzpatrick added a two-out, two-run single to put Marlboro up 4-0.

The Mustangs added two more in the second after Aimee Notaro scored on a grounder and Camryn Coates knocked an RBI double.

Howell got on the board with its only run of the game in the bottom of the third on a passed ball.

Coates recorded another RBI in the fourth after hitting a single to left field that brought Hochstader home. Coates finished the game three-for-four.

A six-run fifth inning for the Mustangs nearly doubled the lead to 13-1. The inning saw 12 batters reach the plate, two of which scored on passed balls, one on a bases loaded walk, and three from Hochstader's base-clearing triple to left field.

"We've been preaching it all year in the short season we've had so far to put ourselves at the advantage and work a good pitch count," Scalzo said. "We're getting, seeing, and taking good pitches and driving the ball rather than letting them go like we did last year. We're just swinging at better pitches and putting ourselves in advantageous positions in the box. That's all I told them to do—wait for your pitch and drive."

Scalzo's words echoed in the dugout as the Mustangs recorded 16 hits to Howell's six.

The Mustangs improved to 2-1 on the season and look to improve as the season progresses.

"What I'd like to see this season is consistency. Continue to play great defense. Continue to pitch and keep ourselves in games. Overall, our bats are going to come around and if we can just keep doing the little things—move runners, get the bunts down, and hit with runners on base and with two out—I think we're going to be very successful this season and hopefully down the stretch," Scalzo said.

Senior Ashley Fhima got the start in the pitcher's circle and recorded four strikeouts and two walks across four innings. Sophomore Stephanie Ciravolo struck out two in the fifth to end the game.

Howell pitcher Marcella Riello struck out three in three innings of action, while Hailey Koeppel had two hits.

Marlboro looks to stay hot as it faces Long Branch at home on Tuesday, April 12, while Howell (0-2) looks to get in the win column against Manalapan on Tuesday.

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