H.S. softball: Mustangs take care of business

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MONMOUTH — Rachel Bernier wanted to see a little more out of her offense Wednesday.

Her team had produced plenty of runs in a win earlier this week, but it was a somewhat feeble effort for the Monmouth bats. She wanted to see a little more bash and pop.

“It was pretty discouraging against Boothbay on Monday,” Bernier said. “We scored 14 runs and only had two little hits. They weren’t even power hits. I challenged them today. When you’re working towards playoffs, you’ve got to keep working on things. Today, we had some nice line drives.”

The Mustangs not only hit the ball well but were also aggressive on the bases in a 12-0 win over Winthrop. The top of Monmouth’s order was unstoppable, and built a commanding early lead.

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“Coach has been shifting us around to see how we’d work out,” said Kylie Kemp, a freshman outfielder. “We’ve kind of figured out where everybody should go.”

The Mustangs scored twice in the first and then added five more in the second for the quick 7-0 lead.

“We hit well, ” said junior pitcher Reen Kahl. “That always helps. It’s always so much pressure if you’re pitching and it’s a 0-0 game. It’s much harder. If you have a lead, everybody plays much more relaxed.”

Kemp had two hits and drove in four runs while Kahl drove in a pair with two hits. Kelsie Hilton had two hits and scored three runs.

“Last time we didn’t hit so well in the beginning,” said Kemp of the 8-0 win over the Ramblers earlier in the year. “We finally got through in the fourth and it worked our pretty good.”

Kahl no-hit the Ramblers in the first meeting. Cat Ouellette had a leadoff hit Wednesday and was thrown out stealing. Winthrop (5-7) didn’t have another hit the rest of the game. Kahl finished with seven strikeouts.

“I just came in and threw a game as it is,” said Kahl. “I try not to concentrate on what happened before. Things can always change.”

Kahl also had some solid play in the field behind her. In addition to Daisi Poole throwing out Ouellette,  Kelsie Hilton was solid at third. Kristi Hilton did a nice job at second, pouncing on one potential hit after it got past Kahl.

“The defense had some great plays behind Reen,” said Bernier. “Cat Ouellette hit the ball hard and Kelsie  just vacuumed it up. The defense made some good plays.”

Monmouth (9-3) got the 2-0 lead in the first when Kahl singled in Bri Hicks. Kemp then followed with an RBI triple.

In the second, the Mustangs sent 10 batters to the plate and took advantage of three Winthrop errors. Poole scored on a miscue. Then Kristi Hilton walked in a run. Kahl followed with an RBI single. A fielder choice by Kemp made it 6-0. Then Kristin Hilton scored on a dropped third strike.

In the third, Kelsie Hilton doubled in a run and later scored on a wild pitch. Kemp followed with a two-run single for an 11-0 lead. The final run came in the fourth when Kelsie Hilton scored on a wild pitch.

With an important game at St. Dom’s Thursday afternoon, Bernier was pleased that her club took care of business so efficiently Wednesday.

“We didn’t want to go seven innings,” said Bernier. “We’re going again tomorrow and playing back-to-back. So we wanted to get them home so they could take care of their academics.”

kmills@sunjournal.com

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