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By Alex Smyth
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – The Camden County College Cougars won a hard-fought softball game against the Anne Arundel Riverhawks 5-3 on April 21.

Angel Benjamin warms up before the top of the seventh inning. By Alex Smyth, CCC Journalism Program

Lindsey Farmer was the starting pitcher for the Cougars. Despite walking four of the first five batters, Farmer escaped the inning without allowing any runs. Catcher Savannah Bittner was to thank, as she caught the leadoff batter stealing, as well as picked off a base runner later that inning.

As the catcher, Bittner is responsible for being the team leader on defense. “Vocal communication is key, both on and off the field,” Bittner said.

In addition to her three putouts, Bittner had two hits, scored two runs and added a stolen base. “I just try to make contact when I’m at the plate and produce for my team,” she said.

The Cougars wasted no time on offense, as they scored two runs in the first inning. Joscelyn Parrella led off with a walk before stealing second and third. Parrella scored on an RBI single by Taylor Harper. Harper later scored on a bases-loaded walk.

The score held at 2-0 until the Hawks made a push in the top of the fourth inning. After walking the first two batters, Farmer gave up a two-run double to Jenna Weinstein. Weinstein later scored on a triple by Alexxis Evans.

Heading to the bottom of the fourth, the Hawks held a 3-2 lead. To start the inning, Bittner and Alexandria Peipher both hit singles. Additionally, they both stole a base to set the Cougars up with runners on second and third with no outs. Farmer helped her own cause, scoring Bittner on an RBI ground out to even the score at three. Christina Olsen followed up with an RBI ground out, retaking the lead for the Cougars.

After four frames of play, Coach Chip Reitano called on Angel Benjamin to relieve Farmer. Farmer finished with three earned runs on five hits in four innings of work. That was enough to earn her the win, as Benjamin closed the door on the Hawks from the fifth inning on.

Benjamin pitched brilliantly, as she gave up three hits in three innings, while not allowing a runner to advance past second base. She also had four strikeouts and only one walk.

Although she is usually a starter, Benjamin embraced the closer role. “I just wanted to help my team get out of the game with a win,” Benjamin said.

The Cougars added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning before Benjamin closed out the game, earning her the save and securing the win for the Cougars.

In this back and forth game from the start, Reitano made sure his team was focused all throughout. “I told them to keep their heads up and keep playing D. Defense and pitching is what wins these types of games,” Reitano said.

With this win, the Cougars improved to 15-15 on the season.

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