SOUTH PARIS — The only person that may have noticed that nobody was covering third base was Alyssah Dennett.

The Cony senior catcher had already advanced to second on a bunt in the eighth inning of a scoreless softball game Monday. She barely stopped at the base though. Seeing third vacant, she kept running, much to the surprise of everyone else.

“It definitely wasn’t planned,” Dennett said. “A bunch of people were like ‘What were you doing? We didn’t know nobody was there.’ I knew once she threw it, I was going to be safe at home because there wasn’t anybody close to third base.”

Dennett broke the stalemate and Cony added another run in the eighth to beat Oxford Hills 2-0. The win ended the Vikings streak of five consecutive wins.

“This is what it’s all about,” Oxford Hills coach Cindy Goddard said. “This was a good game. This is what you play for.”

Cony junior pitcher Arika Brochu and Oxford Hills’ senior Crystal West engaged in a great scoreless duel. Both teams had some chances but it wasn’t until the Rams threatened in the eighth and an Oxford Hills miscue allowed the first run to score.

“Unfortunately, it’s errors that make the difference and that’s what happened,” said Goddard of the only error in the game. “You put pressure on the defense, and it happened at that time.”

Cony finished with six hits. Three of them came in the decisive eighth. Dennett and Maggie Russell each had a pair of hits for the Rams (7-1). Dennett led off the inning and singled to right.

“We left runners at third a couple of times,” Dennett said. “I knew somebody would get something going. Like that hit to right, when somebody gets a hit, you keep going.”

Olivia Deeves followed and put a bunt down in front of the plate. Deeves was thrown out at first and Dennett advanced to second. When Deeves realized that nobody was covering third, she stretched it. The Vikings tried to get her at third but there was nobody covering. So the errant throw sailed past the base and Dennett scored easily.

“As I was reaching second, I noticed nobody was at third,” Dennett said. “So I just kept running to third. I knew I was going to be safe at third because nobody was there, but I didn’t expect her to throw it. I thought she would hold it.”

Brochu followed with a double, and Goddard came out to the field to settle her team down. After a ground out for the second out of the inning, Russell followed with a single that plated Brochu.

In the bottom of the inning, Brochu struck out the side. She finished the game with 13 strikeouts and four consecutive to end the game. She had eight of her strikeouts at the bottom third of the order.

“I know they’ve always been an aggressive team,” Brochu said. “So I wanted to catch them off-guard from the get go. I knew I had to mix everything up.”

She no-hit the Vikings through the first six innings. Oxford Hills got an infield hit from Anna Winslow in the seventh, but that was the only hit Brochu allowed.

“You go against someone that throws a one-hitter, it’s pretty tough to score some runs,” Goddard said.

Despite the costly error, the Vikings had some fine defensive plays in the field. Myriah Lausier made some nice plays at third. West made a key play on a ball hit back to her that got an out at the plate. Winslow made a nice catch with an outstretched arm. Cony had some gems as well. Deeves made a sparkling play at third and Delaney Keithley made a crucial grab at second in the sixth to end an Oxford Hills threat.

“I believe these are like my favorite,” Brochu said of the nailbiter. “I’d much rather have a game and have the intensity up the entire time compared to a blowout where nobody’s really into it.”

The Vikings biggest threat came in the sixth when Brochu walked two. Monica Harthorne walked to lead off. After two strikeouts, Annika Kahkonen drew a walk. Both advanced on a wild pitch. West came to the plate and hit a liner toward right, but that’s where Keithley made a nice reaching grab to end the inning.

“I thought Crystal’s hit was it,” Goddard said. “We had second and third. I thought if that could have been that much closer … “

Winslow’s hit came in the seventh. She thought she had stolen second but an interference call put her back to first. She was forced at second on a Taylor Johnson grounder but Brochu then got a fly out and a strike out to end the inning.

“I usually have one of those innings every game,” Brochu said. “I kind of let up a little when I probably should keep focused. With the two walks, I had to dig down deep. It’s kind of scary but I’ve done it before. So I knew I could do it.”

Cony had a runner reach third in the second but West got a strike out and a ground out. In the fourth, Deeves was  thrown out at third by West. Then in the fifth, Michayla Dostie was thrown out at home by West on a bunt.

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