Softball: Hounds keep hitting

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LISBON FALLS – The hits just keep on coming for the Lisbon softball team.

After the Greyhounds produced 13 runs in a strong opening-day victory, Lisbon discovered its bats had a little more bash left in them this week in a 16-7 victory over Madison.

“There’s lot of confidence there,” said Lisbon coach Mike Fortier, whose team won just three games last year. “They’re excited to be able to start the season with two good wins. It’s also a group that wants to improve, and they know they need to improve.”

Lisbon cranked out 11 hits against two Bulldogs pitchers. The top of the order led the way for the Greyhounds. Leadoff batter Ashley Beaulieu scored four runs, had three hits and drove in a run, while Brooke Lawrence followed her with four runs, four hits and three RBIs. Shauna Riordan drove in two from the third spot. Still, the bottom of the order held up its end. Kyrstin Ramich had two hits and Haley Eck scored three times.

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“They were all getting on base, and that’s the key,” Fortier said.

Neither team played particularly well on defense, and the pitching struggled on both sides at times. Lisbon settled down, but the one constant that the Greyhounds had was a consistent threat at the plate.

“Last year, I think we struggled a little bit on the offensive side,” said Lawrence, the sophomore shortstop. “This year, we’re paying attention to it, and we’re feeling better about it.”

Lisbon missed the playoffs for the first time in six years and returned seven starters with limited varsity experience. Now, the Greyhounds are ready to return to form, and the first two wins are positive signs.

Sophomore Kimber Morse got the win for Lisbon, scattering five hits, while striking our three and walking five. The Greyhounds made four errors, three in one inning when Madison rallied from a 6-0 deficit to get within a run in the third.

“It’s only our second game against real competition,” Fortier said. “We didn’t have any preseason games this year. We’re still working those kinks out.”

Lisbon built the lead with two runs in the first. Beaulieu scored on Riordan’s sacrifice fly and Amber Cloutier singled in Lawrence. In the second, the Greyhounds added four more, taking advantage of two Madison errors. A Lawrence hit to the outfield was dropped when two players collided, allowing Ramich and Eck to score. Lawrence scored on another error, and Riordan scored on a passed ball to make it 6-0.

The Bulldogs rallied in the third with five runs on one hit and three Lisbon errors. Kayla Belanger tripled a run home and scored on Lauren Bean’s sacrifice fly. After Emilee Berry scored on a wild pitch, an error on a grounder plated a pair.

“We had to put our heads into it and stop fooling around,” Lawrence said. “We kind of got silly at the end of that inning. We realized we couldn’t do that.”

Lisbon put down three straight Madison batters in the fourth, getting nice plays by Ramich and catcher Nichole Conrad. The Greyhounds added three in the bottom of the fourth when Lawrence tripled in Beaulieu and scored on a wild pitch. Riordan also scored on a wild pitch to make it 9-5. In the fifth, Lisbon added three more on wild pitches. The Greyhounds finished the scoring with four in the sixth on RBI singles by Beaulieu, Lawrence and Riordan.

After the five runs in the third, Madison was held to three hits and two runs the rest of the way. Morse pitched solidly down the stretch, while Ramich led the defensive effort with a nice diving catch at first.

“That’s one of those situations where you get to see what you’re made of,” Fortier said. “The girls did a great job.”

kmills@sunjournal.com

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