LISBON FALLS — It was an inning that the Lisbon softball team nearly got out off.
As Hall-Dale threatened and even tied the game in the fifth, the Greyhounds had the chance to escape relatively unscathed. That’s when Kayla Barton stepped to the plate. With one swing of the bat, a pitcher’s duel turned into a slugfest. Barton drove in three runs and Lindsay LaChance plated a pair to open up a lead the Bullodgs never relinquished in a 12-7 victory over Lisbon.
“That was the game-changer,” said Lisbon coach Mike Fortier. “We had a couple errors in that inning. We got behind in the count and had a few walks. The top of their order came up and came through with the base hits when they needed them.”
Lisbon managed to rally in the bottom of the fifth, but Hall-Dale padded the lead with five more in the seventh. Barton had three hits and three RBIs while LaChance finished with two hits and five RBIs. LaChance also scattered eight hits and struck out 10.
“That was a huge hit by Kayla Barton,” said Hall-Dale coach Dave Kaplan, whose team is jostling for playoff positioning in Western C. “That was the hit of the game.”
Lisbon (10-4) led 2-1 going into the fifth and Kimber Morse had been cruising along, allowing just three hits through four innings. The Greyhound defense was errorless, led by catcher Haley Eck, who had thrown out a pair of runners trying to steal.
In the fifth, however, the wheels came off. Lisbon had two errors, and Morse walked three batters. Still, Lisbon nearly got out of the inning having just given up the tying run, a two-out single by Colby Houdlette off the third-base bag. Then Barton came up and drilled a double to deep center that plated three. After a walk, LaChance doubled in a pair for a 7-2 lead.
“A lot of times it will take us one time through the lineup,” said Kaplan. “The kids are just adjusting. Part of the reason is that in this conference, the pitching is so varied. There’s not a lot of consistency in how kids throw. So it always takes us one time through the lineup to adjust before we start hitting the ball.”
Lisbon wasn’t quite finished yet and brought its bats to life in the bottom of the inning. Eck helped start the rally with a superb at-bat. After fouling off numerous pitches, she singled in a run. Then Kyrstin Ramich doubled in a pair to make it 7-5. It was Ramich’s second RBI double of the game.
“I’m proud of the girls,” said Fortier. “They battled back that half inning and got within two. Like a good team Hall-Dale is, they came right back and put some runs across the plate for themselves.”
Hall-Dale (10-3) padded the lead in the seventh with five more runs on three hits, three errors and two walks. LaChance doubled in three and scored on an error. Chelsea Adkins added an RBI single. Lisbon got two in the bottom of the inning when Ashley Beaulieu scored on an error on an Amber Cloutier grounder. Cloutier then scored on an Eck fielder’s choice.
“I don’t think we swung the bats as well as we were capable off early in the game,” said Fortier. “We started the swing the bats later and good things happened for us. By then, they were already confident and swinging their bats.”