SOUTH PARIS — There were quite a few question marks coming into the season for the Oxford Hills softball team.
With a new battery, only a handful of returnees and many players in new positions, the Vikings were going to be a bit of a work in progress this year. One thing Cindy Goddard hoped would be a constant though for Oxford Hills was it offense.
“This is probably our best offensive team that we’ve had in a long time,” said Goddard. “Up and down the lineup, we have some power. “
That was the case Monday as Oxford Hills pounded out a 12-0 six-inning win over Edward Little. The Vikings produced 10 hits and displayed a potent lineup.
Catcher Dayna Schultz led the attack with three hits, three runs scored and one RBI. Breanna Martin also scored three runs, had two hits and drove in a pair. Heather Verrier and Brittina Maheux each had two hits and Jaidyn Rice drove in two.
“At the plate is definitely our strength,” said Schultz. “That’s what’s going to pull us through — with the key hits in the game. As long as we keep hitting the ball, and we don’t seem to have a problem with that right now.”
Verrier, a sophomore pitcher, hurled a four-hitter and did a nice job keeping EL’s bats silent. She struck out four and walked none, and she got some fine support in the field. Maheux made some nice plays at short while Rice gunned out a couple runners from third. Rice, Allyson Snow and Ladd combined for a nifty double play that caught an EL runner off-guard in the sixth.
Despite a new-look lineup, the Vikings are now 2-1, and the lone loss was a heartbreaker to Erksine on opening day.
“We don’t have many people back in the same spots,” said Goddard. “Heather is a new pitcher. You just never know. As a sophomore, she can come in and not do anything. I knew we had some good hitters and could score some runs. I think we’re just starting to come together.”
After two convincing wins last week, EL fell behind early and struggled in the field. The Red Eddies finished with four errors.
“Today was all about pitching and defense, and we didn’t do either of them,” said EL coach Elaine Derosby. “When you walk four batters and have (four) errors, you can’t win a game against a good team. We got down 2-0 early, and I could see that we weren’t ready.”
The Vikings built a 2-0 lead in the first after two of the first three batters walked. Verrier delivered a hard liner off a fielder’s glove for an RBI double that plated Schultz. Breanna Martin came in on an error on a Brooke Ladd grounder.
“I can’t give them the mental game,” said Derosby. “There were a lot of those plays today, and we didn’t think through plays. There was no communication before plays happened. We talk about needing to know beforehand and not being reactionary. We were very reactionary instead of being proactive.”
The Vikings added two more in the third when Breanna Martin singled and Ladd walked. Rice delivered a two-run single. Miranda Martin pitched three innings for EL (2-1) and was replaced by Kristen Whittaker the rest of the way.
Oxford Hills made it 11-0 in the fifth. Breanna Martin doubled in Schultz and Frankie Severance and scored on an error. Maheux followed with a triple that plated Ladd. Schultz added an RBI single in the sixth, scoring Snow.
“I think we’re going to get really far this season and hopefully do well in the playoffs,” said Schultz.