RUMFORD — It wasn’t exactly a must win Friday, but it was a much-needed victory for the Mountain Valley softball team.
After beating Jay to open the season, the Falcons dropped a pair of lopsided games to Telstar and Carrabec this week. With a depleted lineup, Mountain Valley needed to bounce back and did just that with a solid 5-1 victory over Livermore Falls.
With three starters out of the lineup, the Falcons rallied from a 1-0 deficit and rode some solid pitching and defense to even their record at 2-2.
“It was a hodgepodge lineup for us, but they did very well,” said Mountain Valley coach Brian Mills, whose club lost to Telstar Monday 19-0 and dropped a 17-8 game to Carrabec two days later. “It was a solid performance pitching, and we made all the plays on defense. We got the bases loaded and got the key hits.”
Senior pitcher Shelby Moore gave up just three hits and struck out four. She also had a pair of triples and drove in three runs to break a 1-1 tie in the third. The Falcons produced four runs in that inning to erase the 1-0 deficit and take control of the game.
“It helped us get back in the game,” said Moore. “We always get into an inning where we get down in the dumps because we got (behind), but then we have ambition to go and do it. Once we get ahead, we stay in the game and always want to win.”
Kaitlyn Townsend pitched a solid game for the Andies (2-5), scattering seven hits. Though the Andies had just three hits, they drew 13 walks and stranded 13 runners. Mountain Valley’s defense played errorless ball. Catcher Lynsie Dupuis’ threw out three runners, and Moore was able to buckle down when the heat was on.
“I just had to try and relax and concentrate on the glove of Lynsie, and I did that,” said Moore.
The Andies lone run came in the second when Kathryn Ventrella drew a bases loaded walk. The Falcons erased that lead in the third, taking advantage of some Andies mistakes. The Falcons got runners on with a walk, a dropped third strike and a fielder’s choice. Brooke Dolloff tied the game with a single to right. Moore followed with a bases-clearing triple to center.
“I just took a deep breath and hoping I could just hit it,” said Moore. “I just wanted to get my runners in.”
The Falcons added to the lead in the fourth when Christy Briggs singled in a run with two outs.
The Andies had runners on but couldn’t produce the big hit they needed. Livermore’s only hits came on an infield hit by Marissa Welch in the first, a single by Jen Freeman in the fourth and a double by Kathrynn Lake in the fifth. The Andies left the bases loaded in the seventh and stranded nine runners in the final four innings.
“When she throws well, we play good solid defense,” said Mills of Moore. “When she starts to struggle we get back on our heels. Then you see the mistakes. When she’s throwing well, our defense is on its toes.”