DIXFIELD – When a pitcher is experiencing control problems, it’s important to be able to bear down and rely on teammates to get the job done. That’s what the Telstar and Dirigo softball teams utilized Monday at rainy Marble Park.
Jessie Farrington threw a two-hitter and Abby Hutchins scored the eventual winning run in the second inning as Telstar remained unbeaten with a 3-1 triumph against the Lady Cougars in a Mountain Valley Conference game.
The game featured the top two teams in Western Class C, so something had to give.
Dirigo (6-2) matched the Lady Rebels stride for stride, behind pitcher Katie Hutchinson, who pitched a two-hitter . The Cougars kept their poise and had the potential winning run at the plate in the seventh inning, but fell short
“This was a well-played high school softball game,” Dirigo coach Gavin Kane said. “Neither pitcher was right on but we knew Farrington throws hard. Katie Hutchinson has been up and down with her own control. But, she kept us in the game and the defense made some big plays.”
Telstar (8-0) had used its team speed to score single runs in the first two innings. Josie Reiss led off the game with a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and raced home on a sacrifice bunt by Tiffany Jordan. In the next frame, Hutchins raced home, on a wild pitch, despite the short area to the backstop.
“This was a big win,” Telstar coach Jim Lunney said. “We needed it for Heal Points. There wasn’t a lot of opportunities. They made some big plays, like that throw by the shortstop (Abby Fenstermacher) who threw out (Farrington) at home plate.”
Dirigo had tied the score in the bottom of the first, when Farrington had troubles keeping the Cougars off the base paths.
Megan Russell raced home on a wild pitch, but the Cougars left the bases loaded.
The Rebel pitcher had seven strikeouts and walked five.
Farrington threw out Fenstermacher at the plate and struck out Ashley Noyes looking to end the inning.
“The first inning was a struggle,” Farrington said. “But, then I was able to settle down and the defense helped.”
Dirigo had two baserunners in the second through sixth. C.C. Chow reached on walks. Rebel catcher Liz Rosenberg threw Chow out attempting to steal and first baseman Chelsea Cozzolino snared two foul balls.
The Cougars came alive in the seventh. Chow walked and Brittany Palmer singled. But , Farrington struck out Russell and induced a game-ending ground out.
“This was a big game for us,” said Rosenberg, who scored an unearned run in seventh.
“It usually is between Dirigo and Telstar, plus a lot of us played basketball together. Both teams made some big plays.”