CLINTON — After suffering their first two Big East Conference losses of the year last week, the Prince of Peace softball team was looking to bounce back in a big way.

Mission accomplished.

The Irish pounded out 12 hits and got a two-hit pitching performance from Lauren Ryan on their way to a 6-0 win over Preston Monday at the Gil’s Ballroom field.

“Our hitting is starting to come around,” said Emma Nelson, who had three hits — including a double — for the Irish. “The last few games we’ve been hitting the ball hard, only at people. It’s nice to finally find the gaps and get on base.”

“The girls are back to hitting the ball well,” added Irish coach Troy Dodd. “We only struck out once, which is great to see. A lot of kids hit well, especially Emma. She’s just slaughtering the ball.”

Preston had four base runners in the game, including the first batter of the contest.

Haley Andresen reached base on an error, stole second and moved to third on a groundout.

But Lauren Ryan recorded two strikeouts in the frame to get out of trouble. She finished the night with four Ks.

“Lauren did a much better job tonight,” said Dodd. “She seemed to have a lot more pop.”

The Irish tallied two runs in the bottom of the first.

With one out, Nelson delivered a double to the left-field fence. She went to third on a wild pitch and scored when Katie Flood doubled over the center fielder’s head.

Flood took third on a passed ball and scored on the team’s third double of the inning, a shot by Alyssa Kenney to center field.

Prince of Peace added two more runs in the third. Nelson led off with a single down the third-base line and stole second before scoring on Flood’s single to left.

Flood went to second when Preston threw home to try and get Nelson, moved to third on Kenney’s line single and scored on Brooke Craig’s single to right.

Prince of Peace completed its scoring in the fourth.

Colleen Ryan singled up the middle, was sacrificed to second by Kelli Krogman, moved to third on Nelson’s single and scored when Lauren Ryan hit into a fielder’s choice.

Nelson later scored when Flood hit into a fielder’s choice.

With the win, Prince of Peace improved to 5-2 in the Big East and 13-6 overall. Preston is 2-5 and 5-9.

“We lost twice last week, but we also realized that we lost to two good conference teams,” said Dodd. “It’s like I’ve said before — on any given day, anyone in this conference can beat somebody else.”

“I think (before losing to North Cedar and Lisbon) we were taking things for granted a bit,” added Nelson. “Those losses were a wakeup call and it made us work harder in practice. That paid off today.”

Preston coach Scott Jess was happy with his team’s performance.

“I thought both pitchers did well,” he said. “Our problem was we just never came up with the big hit, plus we gave up a few runs defensively that we shouldn’t have. But the girls still gave a good effort.”

Score by Innings

Preston 000 000 0 —0 2 0

Prince of Peace 202 200 x —6 12 1

Brittany Farrell and Haley Andresen. Lauren Ryan and Alyssa Kenney.

Two or more hits—Prince of Peace, Emma Nelson 3, Katie Flood, Alyssa Kenney, Rachel Ryan, Colleen Ryan. 2B—Prince of Peace, Nelson, Flood, Kenney, R. Ryan. RBI—Prince of Peace, L. Ryan, Flood 3, Kenney, Brooke Craig.

Records—Preston 5-9, 2-5 Big East Conference; Prince of Peace 13-6, 5-2. Next games—Northeast at Preston, Wednesday; Prince of Peace at Andrew, Wednesday.

This Week's Circulars