LISBON FALLS — When Alix Howard gathered her team in the pitcher’s circle each inning, she tried to settle her fellow Mt. Abram softball players down.

As the innings passed, those brief conversations began to work.

“We’d meet in the circle and that’d get us all together,” said Howard. “We knew what we needed to do to play really good ball.”

The Roadrunners settled into their game a little more each inning and finished it off a 10-6 win over Lisbon Monday. That was after taking an early 4-0 lead and then watching the Greyhounds rally to go up 6-5.

“I thought we played pretty well,” Mt. Abram coach Marc Keller said. “We do well on the basepaths. We hit the ball pretty well. We haven’t been outside enough to play the game mentally — to know where we need to go with the ball and know what the situations are. We should get better as we spend more time out here.”

Howard scattered seven hits and struck out six. After four errors in the first two innings, the Roadrunners played smoothly over the final five innings and held the Greyhounds scoreless. Mt. Abram even got a nice catch from shortstop Jill Howard, who turned the catch in to a double play to end a Lisbon threat. Alix Howard made an impressive grab on a liner in the seventh to help squelch a rally.

“We’d meet in the circle and tell them that three outs is all we need,” said Howard. “We couldn’t let them get in our heads. We couldn’t let them get us rattled. We played really good ball after that.”

Lisbon pitcher  Kailyn Hill allowed only three hits and struck out 14, but she walked 15 and had seven errors in the field behind her.

“We had so many mental errors,” Lisbon coach Terri Trudell said. “One mental error lead to multiple errors. That turned around into the batting, and we talked about how you had to let go of an error and move forward.”

The Roadrunners scored four in the first. Alix Howard had a two-run double.  Jill Howard plated a run with a sacrifice fly, and Kenzie Tyler walked in a run.

Lisbon answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Baily Madore singled in a run. Chantal Bisson scored on an error on a steal attempt, and Madore later scored on a passed ball.

“When you get the runs you feel good, but when they start pounding the hits and getting the runs back, you just have to not let them get into your heads,” said Howard.

Though Mt. Abram made it 5-3 in the second when Lilli Taylor walked in a run, Lisbon took the lead with three in the bottom of the second.  Two errors and a wild pitch put the Greyhounds ahead 6-5.

Mt. Abram settled itself down and retook the lead in the fourth. A Tyler fielder’s choice scored Jill Howard and Taylor scored on an error after the play for the 7-6 lead. The Roadrunners added a run on an error in the fifth and made it 10-6 with a Katie Jordan single and an error that plated two.

Lisbon had a pair of hits in the fifth and seventh but stranded both as Howard and the Roadrunners played solid defense down the stretch.

“Alix pitched well,” said Keller. “She throws strikes. She’s around the plate most of the time. If we can play the field, we can do well.”

Though it was a loss, it was also a good barometer for a young Lisbon squad.

“I’m glad we played a game like this early and that we can learn from this,” said Trudell. “As a coach, I can look at the things we really need to work on for the rest of the season to be successful.”

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