LEWISTON — History didn’t repeat itself Wednesday, but it came pretty close.
Two seasons ago, Edward Little’s Megan Hussar delivered a decisive hit in a softball victory over Lewiston. So with the bases loaded in Wednesday’s opener, Hussar went to the plate with the same mindset.
“Kayla Cummings told me before we went up to my at bat to think of whatever I thought of two years ago when the bases were loaded and I had a good hit,” said Hussar, who drilled a grand slam in that previous opportunity. “It motivated me to try my best. I wanted to get a hit.”
Hussar didn’t deliver a home run, but her two-run single proved plenty. It led to a five-run third inning for EL, and the Red Eddies never looked back in a 12-0 win over the Blue Devils in six innings.
EL finished with nine hits. Hussar had a pair and drove in three runs while Cummings had three hits and drove in two runs. Melissa Paione had two RBI while Kirsten Prue and Emily Johnson each drove in runs.
The Red Eddies didn’t just get timely hitting. EL played errorless defense and had a fine outing from pitcher Miranda Martin. Lewiston finished with four hits but had just two through the first five innings. Martin struck out six and walked just one.
“She’s worked hard over the last three years,” said EL coach Elaine Derosby of Martin. “Opening day for her is nothing. Two years ago, she had to start as a freshman. She’s a gamer. I coach her in two other sports and in the circle she says she has absolutely no fear. That’s exactly what I want from my pitchers.”
Lewiston’s Olivia Cote got a single in the first and advanced on a passed ball. She also singled in the third, but Lewiston failed to generate any other kind of offense early.
“We didn’t capitalize when Cote got on second base early in the ballgame,” said Lewiston coach Fred Royer. “That hurt our offense a little. Then they opened it up in the (third).”
EL broke the scoreless tie in the top of the third with three hits and with the aid of two walks. After putting EL down in the second on a handful of pitches, Lewiston’s Mariah Conway had a pair of walks, including one to lead off the inning. EL managed to load the bases, with the help of another walk, and Hussar came to the plate. Conway fell behind in the count, and Hussar took advantage with a single to right.
“Once one person starts hitting on our team everyone gets excited to start hitting,” said Hussar. “It starts some really good emotion for us.”
After those two runs scored, Cummings scored on a double steal with Hussar. Hussar scored on a Prue shallow fly that was dropped, and Johnson followed with an RBI double.
“What we have this year is we have runners that are instinctive on the bases,” said Derosby. “They’ll take second or third bases without me telling them the situation. They just do it automatically. They can all do it and do it successfully.”
EL added two more in the fifth when Cummings tripled in Kayla Nadeau and scored on a wild pitch. Then in the sixth, Lewiston brought in pitcher Kati Dumais. EL produced four hits and five runs. Cummings doubled in one, and Hussar followed with an infield hit that made it 9-0. Prue delivered an RBI single and Paione doubled in a pair.
“Mariah Conway and Kati Dumais, in her first outing, did an adequate job, but EL just hit the ball well,” said Royer.
Lewiston threatened in the sixth when Jess Beaudoin was hit by a pitch and Carley Denis and Michelle Caron each reached on infield hits. That loaded the bases, but EL got some nice force plays at third and second to end the game.
“We’re almost where we normally are midseason at the beginning of the season,” said Derosby, whose club played nine preseason games. “We’re almost there. There’s some things that they still need to understand. I’ve coached these kids for a long time, and we’ve waited for this group to get to high school. Now, they’re all together in one package. I know what they have in their abilities. Now what I’m asking them to do is think through the game on their own.”