AUBURN – Hits and runs have been a bit scarce in recent years when these two rivals meet.

But Wednesday, St. Dom’s and Sacopee Valley didn’t produce their accustomed stalemate but rather a slugfest. The two contenders brought out April showers with a rain of 19 hits and 21 runs.

The Hawks produced four hits and three runs with their first six batters, and the hit parade was on. St. Dom’s, however, battled back and outlasted Sacopee with a back-and-forth 11-10 victory.

“This is not a typical St. Dom’s-Sacopee softball game, but it was still an exciting game, and both teams were competing hard,” said Hawks coach Tim Vacchiano.

The Saints rallied from deficits of 3-0, 4-2, 6-5 and 9-6 to open the season with a hard-fought victory.

“The kids never gave up,” said St. Dom’s coach Dan Samson. “They had a lot of heart.”

The Hawks (0-1) pounded out 14 hits, led by Kayla Crowley with three. Whitney Stacey, Britni Murch, Aleece Daleo and Anna Allard all had a pair. The Saints had just five hits off Stacey, two from Kelsey Murphy, but took advantage of 13 walks and five Sacopee errors.

“We’ve got to come out and throw strikes,” said Vacchiano. “When she throws strikes, she’s pretty tough. It’s her first varsity game. She’s a tough athlete. When she was on, she did a good job and kept us competitive.”

St. Dom’s Jen Cullen battled against the potent Sacopee lineup and preserved the lead over the final two innings. She walked just one batter and allowed only one run over the final two innings.

“Our pitcher kept us in the game,” said Samson. “She didn’t walk a lot of kids.”

The Saints took the lead for good with five runs in the fifth. Sacopee had taken a 9-6 lead in the top of the inning on RBIs from Crowley, Autumn Jones and Sara Bowen. St. Dom’s quickly turned that deficit into a lead with five runs on just one hit. Three of the first four batters drew walks. Heidi Nadeau scored on a wild pitch, and Abby Gilbert came in on an error on a grounder by Cullen. Alex Hewitt tied the game by scoring on a wild pitch. St. Dom’s took the lead when an Erynne Landry groundout plated Alex Landry, running for Cullen. Murphy delivered the game-winner with a single that scored Lewis.

“We’ve been struggled on offense, but we knew we had to bring out the bats, and we did,” said Murphy.

Up 11-9 after five, the Hawks got one back with two outs in the sixth. Allard tripled and scored on a Crowley single. A grounder to Lewis at short nixed that threat. Then in the seventh, Cullen got the first two batters, but Kayli Whitney singled to give the top of the order a chance for Sacopee. Whitney Stacey followed with a single, but Murch’s grounder was gobbled up by Lewis for the final out.

“It’s a great way to start the season,” said Murphy. “We’re so excited, and we hope to keep it up.”


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