LIVERMORE FALLS — Batting averages, slugging percentages and self-assurance all received a mighty boost Friday afternoon.
Only one team could scratch that first line in the win column, though. It was Mountain Valley, which hopes that a 16-7 MVC softball triumph over Livermore Falls will have a multiplying effect.
“Regardless of what the other team has done or has not done, it helps build confidence going into the next game,” Mountain Valley coach Brian Mills said. “Hopefully it carries over. Our next five or six games are definitely winnable games and all games that we need to win.”
Two previously winless clubs combined for 31 hits. Eighteen of those belonged to Mountain Valley (1-3).
Hannah Lapointe and Brooke Dolloff each had four hits. Lapointe was 4-for-4 with two doubles, three runs scored and an RBI. Dolloff delivered a triple, scored twice and knocked in four.
Chrissy Briggs added a single, a double and a triple and three RBIs for the Falcons.
Mountain Valley entered the afternoon as the only team in Western Class B without a victory.
“We hit well against Jay and made about five mistakes on defense that cost us the game,” Mills said. “But we can hit the ball. We just have to make the plays on defense and throw strikes.”
Mountain Valley exploded to a 7-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Livermore Falls (0-8) scratched its way back with three runs in the second, one in the third and one in the fourth before the Falcons batted around and banged home six runs in the fifth.
“We’re doing OK. We might not be coming out on top, but we’re battling every team,” Livermore Falls coach Larry Dustin said.
Table-setters Sam Greenwood and Ashlie Robbins were a combined 7-for-9 at the top of the order for the Andies. Robbins ripped an RBI double in the second. Greenwood crushed a solo home run in the seventh.
Marissa Welch also belted two homers for Livermore Falls. Bizarrely, only one counted.
Welch launched one deep into the woods beyond the left field fence with the bases empty and two out in the second. The problem: Welch was only the on-deck hitter. Amanda Estes was due at the plate.
Dustin owned up to the team’s infraction, removing the run from the board and forfeiting the third.
“I told them it was my fault,” Dustin said. “I had to take it away. Things like that happen.”
Perhaps the honesty paid dividends.
Welch (2-for-4) singled and later scored after leading off the third inning. She followed with a long, solo blast in the fourth.
“We had two official (home runs) and one unofficial,” Dustin said. “I told her get right back up and do it again. She’s coming around and getting more confident in her swing. My hitters one through four are gaining confidence, and I think it’s going to turn around for us now.”
Darbi Brown earned the win with four innings of work for Mountain Valley. Lindsay Gallant chucked the final three, allowing only two runs. Greenwood went the distance for the Andies.
Mountain Valley’s Lauren White and Livermore Falls’ Hayley Doyen also were repeat hitters.
“We hit the ball well. They hit the ball well,” Mills said. “They’ve got some girls who can put it out there.”
The Falcons took advantage of eight walks and six stolen bases.