LIVERMORE FALLS – When the Dirigo softball team entered the game Friday afternoon, it was unsure of what to expect from Livermore Falls.
A big offensive eruption led to a 12-run sixth inning as the Lady Cougars rallied back and junior Kathie Hutchinson pitched three frames in a 15-5 win over Livermore Falls in MVC action.
It was the season opener for Dirigo (1-0), which pounded out 18 hits, including 12 by the first-four batters in the batting order. Hutchinson led the way with four hits and four RBIs. Michelle Holmquist was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and Megan Russell went 3-for-4 and two RBIs. The trio, along with Abby Fenstermacher, each scored two runs.
Livermore Falls (1-1) was confident coming into Friday’s game after crushing Jay on Wednesday. The Andies jumped out front with a 5-1 lead.
“That was definitely a big inning,” Dirigo coach Gavin Kane said. “Things came together and we hit the ball well.”
No. 9 batter Lanette Bryant led off the sixth with a single, and Donna White came in as a pinch runner. Fenstermacher and Hutchinson each had RBI singles, and Holmquist hit the ball in front of the mesh-fence to drive in two runs. Brittany Palmer and Russell each had two-run singles. The Cougars sent 17 batters to the plate.
Hutchinson delivered a bases-clearing triple down the right-field line off Andies reliever Erica Gats.
“We received a little momentum from coach Kane entering the sixth,” Hutchinson said. “He told us to just relax and go out there and have some fun. We’ve been having some good practices and every body contributed.”
Livermore Falls had seven hits in four innings against Fenstermacher, but the hits were bloops or slow-infield ground balls. McDaniel, Sam Whitney and Katie Warren each had RBI singles. Gats hit a two-run single in the fourth.
The Cougars had loaded the bases in the fourth, but the Andies turned an inning-ending twin killing. Jenika Kelley was the lone repeat hitter for Livermore Falls.
Dirigo also received some solid defense led by catcher Shannon Daley. DH Ashley Noyes also had two hits and scored two runs.
“I was very pleased with our effort,” Kane said. “This was our season opener and we had a couple mental mistakes early in the game, but those are expected. The defense made some solid plays.”