AUBURN – Jen Knowles stepped up to the plate feeling more promise than pressure.

With the bases loaded and one out, the Leavitt senior outfielder felt she had a few good swings in her.

“I felt like I was going to get a hit,” Knowles said. “The bases were all set to go. My team needed me to hit the ball.”

After just missing an extra-base hit with a mighty swing down the left-field line, Knowles delivered a sharp single to right with two strikes. That plated the first two runs Friday in a 6-0 rain-shortened triumph over Edward Little at Tribou Field.

With Knowles two-run hit and Heidi Swett scoring on a Caroline Bochtler fielder’s choice, the Hornets took a seemingly commanding 3-0 lead.

“Getting the lead early is definitely important for our team,” Knowles said. “If we’re hitting that slump, we’re going to go downhill. As long as we’re up and stay positive and getting a little of a lead, we’re pretty much all set for the rest of the game. It’s been that way for the whole season.”

It was the second straight win for the Hornets (5-4), both coming against Edward Little (1-9). Leavitt used a bases-loaded double by Bochtler for a 3-1 victory Thursday.

“We’ve hit the ball fairly well all season,” Leavitt coach Pete Higgins said. “The only team we haven’t hit the ball well against was Oxford Hills. We just can’t seem to get timely hitting, but the last couple of games, it’s been good to see that we can do that.”

After a disastrous six-run inning in an 8-2 loss to Lewiston on Wednesday, the Hornet defense was flawless, while Brittany Gurney struck out four and walked none.

“That’s been our key,” Higgins said. “We’ve got to support the pitcher. When we don’t, we have those problems.”

Knowles finished with two hits and two RBIs. Paige Dyer and Kat Rothe each had two hits and drove in a run. Megan Miller also had a pair for the second day in a row. After holding EL to two hits Thursday, Gurney allowed an infield hit to Alyssa Levesque in EL’s first at-bat.

“We’re just hitting the ball right at people,” EL coach Elaine Keene said. “(Thursday) we hit the ball right at people and today, we hit the ball right at people, but before this week, we’re striking out 10 times a game. So we’re putting the ball in play and making the other team make plays.”

With back-to-back matchups, EL had hoped to throw Kim Lawrence after Levesque pitched Thursday, but an injury to Lawrence last weekend left her out of action. EL got solid play in the field with Alice Read making a nice running catch in center field and catcher Becca Witten throwing a runner out at second trying to steal.

“Alyssa is on her third day, and she’s giving everything she can,” Keene said. “They’re going to get hits off her. We just need to support her offensively. We’re getting there, but we need to take it one step further.”

The score remained 3-0 until the sixth, when Leavitt added three more during a downpour. The game was called before the Hornets finished batting because conditions had worsened significantly. Before the stoppage, Dyer doubled in a run and Brittany Nelson and Rothe each drove in runs.


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