CLINTON — The Prince of Peace Irish softball team got a crucial win in the Big East Conference race Thursday, knocking off the previously-ranked Lisbon Lions 2-1 at Gil’s Softball Complex.

Prince of Peace’s Rachel Ryan drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning then threw out a runner at the plate in the top of the seventh to help the Irish get the victory.

“It was a good win for our team,” Rachel Ryan said. “Lauren (Ryan) threw a great game. We cut down our errors. We had a slow start this season, but we’re starting to pick it up and play better softball.”

Prince of Peace improved to 5-8 overall, but more importantly upped its mark to 4-2 in the Big East. Lisbon slipped to 8-6 overall and took its first loss in league play. The Lions are 4-1 in the conference.

Lauren Ryan fired another strong game, allowing an unearned run and scattering six singles. She struck out four and did not issue a walk.

The Irish grabbed a quick 1-0 lead with a run in the first inning.

Brooke Craig (3-for-3) led off with an infield hit as she slapped the ball to third base and no one covered first base. Craig moved to second on a groundout and scored when Alyssa Kenney belted a two-out double to center.

Prince of Peace had a good opportunity to add to its lead in the third.

No. 9 hitter Ari Aquiliani reached on an error to start the frame. Craig followed with a bunt hit. With one out Katie Flood laced a single to center to load the bases.

Lisbon all-state catcher Angela Peterson made a big play, picking Aquiliani off of third base with a perfect throw. Kenney then grounded into an inning-ending fielder’s choice.

The Lions pulled even with an unearned run in the top of the sixth.

Kate Murray led off with an infield hit. She moved to second on a bunt and to third on a groundout before scoring when C.C. Williams reached on an error.

Lisbon had a chance for more in the inning as Rosie Jones singled and an error in the outfield allowed the runners to move to second and third.

Prince of Peace pitcher Lauren Ryan escaped further damage, getting Tatyana Reinboldt to groundout to end the inning.

Flood reached on an error to start the bottom of the sixth. Kenney drew a walk before Lauren Ryan moved the runners to second and third with a bunt.

Katelyn Ryan came on to replace Flood as a pinch runner at third base. Rachel Ryan then grounded to Murray, the second baseman, who fired to the plate. But, Katelyn Ryan slid in ahead of the throw, giving the Irish a 2-1 edge.

Kenney was left stranded at third as Lions pitcher Callie Morningstar got a strikeout and popout to end the inning.

Lisbon’s Amanda Siggins reached on an error to start the top of the seventh. She moved to second on a bunt.

Emily Svatoch then singled to Rachel Ryan, the right fielder, who fielded the ball cleanly and fired to the plate as pinch runner Alex Wilson tried to score from second. The throw was a strike to Kenney, the catcher, who applied the tag for the out.

“I knew I had to go home with it,” Rachel Ryan said. “I was thinking, ‘What do I do if it comes to me.’ Alyssa was there to put the tag on. It was a good play.”

Lauren Ryan then struck out Murray to end the game on a bunted third strike.

“If we play good defense we can win,” Prince of Peace coach Bill Manning said. “This was the first one-run game we’ve won this season. We’re playing better as a team. They’re starting to relax and play the way we want them to play.”

The Irish will be back in action Saturday when they will compete in the Bellevue Tournament.

Score by Innings

Lisbon 000 001 0 — 1 6 3

Prince of Peace 100 001 x — 2 6 3

Morningstar and Peterson. Lauren Ryan and Alyssa Kenney.

Two or more hits—Lisbon, Murray; POP, Brooke Craig 3. 2B—POP, Kenney. RBI—POP, Kenney, Rachel Ryan.

Records—Lisbon 8-6, 4-1 Big East Conference; Prince of Peace 5-8, 4-2. Next—Prince of Peace at Bellevue Tournament, Saturday.