Despite a winless start to the season, the Lewiston softball team hasn’t let it dampen their spirits.

The Blue Devils have been making progress, and they’ve seen it in recent games. It gave them reason to believe bigger and better things weren’t far away.

So after losing a pair of close games with Mt. Blue and Mt. Ararat, Lewiston entered Wednesday’s game feeling optimistic.

“We came in confident, which was a big part for us” junior Courtney Marquis said. “We always try to come in doing that and that helped us a lot. We’re definitely progressing great. We’re working together as a team. We’re working hard. That’s what’s got us this far.”

Lewiston hosted Brunswick in a battle of winless teams, but the Blue Devils produced a solid team effort to produce their first victory of the season. Lewiston broke open the game with eight runs in the third and then finished off the Dragons for a 16-4 win through six innings.

“We’ve been in some really close games,” Lewiston coach Erica Crowley said. “We always have one inning that gets away from us. Last game against Mt. Ararat, it was the sixth inning and against Mt. Blue it was the sixth again. I was happy to see them work through the whole game without letting an inning get away from us.”

Marquis had four hits and drove in a run for Lewiston. Maggie Phalen added three hits and drove in three. Mikayla Dutil and Kaylyn Labonte each had a hit and drove in a pair. Lewiston finished with 14 hits and had nine different players get a hit.

“We’ve been so close,” Marquis said. “We’d stay in it. We have to get to the point where we’re winning and we have to keep the confidence up. We started hitting and kept hitting. I think that’s what got us the win.”

It was a tough outing for Brunswick. Not only did the Dragons (0-8) have to start the game without two regulars, things got complicated when it came time to sub them in. One player was called out for not being reported. Then another player wasn’t allowed to bat when the umpire claimed she hadn’t been reported in either, even though Brunswick coach Hugh Dwyer apparently gave him the changes.

“I told the girls that sometimes you don’t have your best stuff and when a situation gets chaotic everybody pays for it,” said Dwyer, who started the game without Mary Sasso and Julia Carpenter. Both were delayed because of tests back at school. “I think they did their best job. I knew what I said, but he heard it differently, and we have to accept that.”

The Dragons had four errors in the field, including three in the third inning. Brunswick sorely missed Carpenter at shortstop.

“(KK Teel) and (Faith) Flaherty stepped in for them and had nice games with the bat,” Dwyer said. “Defensively, it showed. That’s a strength and we had four people out of position and that showed.”

Brunswick took the lead early with a run in the first. Ashely Howe drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Lewiston stranded three runners in the first and then tied the game in the bottom of the second when Loretta Rice scored on a wild pitch. The Blue Devils still left two runners on.

“I was a little worried after we left all those runners on that we weren’t going to be able to get through the ball and hit hard out there,” Crowley said. “The girls adjusted. They did really well hitting the ball.”

In the third, Lewiston scored eight runs on five hits and three Brunswick errors. Maegon Mathon scored a Sami Rioux fielder’s choice. Then Alesha Gregoire scored on a grounder and error on a hit by Emily Turner. Rioux scored on a wild pitch. Then Rice singled hard off the shortstop to make it 5-1. Mathon followed with a hit at short that was misplayed, allowing two runs to score. Phelan followed with a two-run double.

“We’re a team when if we make mistakes, we’re going to compound them with our inexperience,” Dwyer said. “Give Lewiston credit, they took advantage. We’ve got to get over that.”

Brunswick got one back in the fourth on a Marge Dickinson RBI single. Carpenter then came in and delivered a two-run single that would have made it 9-4, but she was never reported. She was called out for batting out of order and the inning was over.

“I think it’s a rookie game by me,” Dwyer said. “We made some mistakes there due to our late arrivals. I think that hurt us.”

Lewiston made it 12-2 in the fourth. Labonte hit a two-run homer and Marquis added an RBI single.

Brunswick got two in the sixth when a Carpenter single and an error allowed two runs to score. That was the inning where the Dragons tried to have Sasso come to bat, having already been reported, but the umpire was adamant that she had not been reported.

“They didn’t have a chance to capitalize on our errors,” Crowley said. “We had a few and we’ve had a few in other games, but we’re working toward fixing those.”

Lewiston added four more in the sixth to end the game by the 12-run rule. Phelan singled in a run. Another run scored on a wild pitch. Dutil finished the game off with a two-run double.

Lewiston freshman pitcher Makayla Girouard scattered seven hits, allowing only five over the final five innings. She only walked one batter.

“We have a game against EL (Monday) and this really helps build our confidence,” Marquis said. “So we can go into that game with more confidence than ever.”

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