MONMOUTH — From the start Wednesday, each inning brought runners on base and opportunity to score.

With those chances came the frustration that followed, as the Telstar offense continually came up empty.

The veteran Rebels didn’t panic and didn’t seek to trade in their bats at the nearest sporting goods store. Instead, Telstar stayed patient and kept swinging.

“The more and more you get people on, we felt like we needed to get the ball in play and move the runners around,” junior Tehya Johnson said. ” I mostly thought that when I got up that I was going to hit the ball and try to put it in play. That’s what most of the hitters did today.”

Eventually the hits followed. Telstar broke open a one-run game and rode the no-hit pitching of Olivia York in a 5-0 win over Monmouth.

“We put runners on,” said Telstar coach Jim Lunney, whose team stranded 11 runners, eight in the first four innings. “My No. 7, 8 and 9 hitters, I was so pleased. They were on base, but we just couldn’t get them in.”

Lisa Gammon had three hits and scored twice for the Rebels. Johnson had a pair of hits and drove in a run. Ashley Savage also plated a run for Telstar (2-0) while Dharma Damon also had a pair of hits. York no-hit the Mustangs (1-2) and struck out five. She walked three, giving Monmouth its only base runners.

“I just came in and saw the order and went from there,” said York, who has allowed just one hit this season and posted two shutouts. “Each batter is different.”

Monmouth’s Emily Chasse held the Rebels to just one run through five innings. She struck out five and scattered 10 hits overall. It was an important start for Chasse because the Mustang lost pitcher Katie Canning to a knee injury earlier in the week. She joins injured Mustang starters Haylee Langlois and Sarah Scott on the sidelines.

“(Chasse) pitched great today,” said Monmouth coach Dave Kaplan, whose said Canning would learn the extent of her injury on Thursday. “She pitched really well. It was her first start of the year. Katie went down and we lost her bat and her arm. We lost our No. 1 pitcher and our No. 5 batter at the same time. We’re already down our cleanup hitters (Langlois) and our second baseman (Scott). So we’re fighting the injury bug and other kids have to step up.”

Telstar left the bases loaded once and stranded two in three other innings. The Rebels managed just one run in the first five innings despite ample opportunity. In the second, Gammon singled with one out and later scored on a wild pitch. The bottom four hitters produced six hits and reached base nine times, scoring twice.

“The 6-7-8-9 hitters really came through for us today,” said York of Damon, Gammon, Blair Stevens and Tasha Hart respectively. 

Telstar still tried to be aggressive at the plate. As the game wore on, the Rebels began swinging at better pitches and the hits followed.

“It’s kind of like a discipline thing,” Johnson said. “When you’re swinging, it may not be at the good things. You’re being aggressive, which is important. You’re swinging and not just sitting up there. I felt like we got a lot more patient and let the junk balls go away and found ones we could drive.”

Telstar broke the game open with four runs in the sixth on three hits and two Monmouth errors. Gammon led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. With two outs, Savage singled in Gammon. York walked and a Becca Howard fly ball was dropped, allowing two more runs to score. Johnson then singled in Howard for the final run.

“We had opportunities and if you’re knocking on the door, it’s only a matter of time before someone hit a line drive somewhere,” Lunney said. “I had faith in my 1-2-3-4-5 hitters.”

Monmouth stayed close but couldn’t produce the offense.  The Mustangs only real threat came when Mikayla Cameron and Chasse each walked in the fifth. York got a strikeout to end the inning.

“That team went to the states last year,” Kaplan said. “They have a lot of seniors back. They’re a good veteran team, and we were 1-0 in the sixth inning. I’m proud of these kids. They’re just a bunch of freshmen and sophomores. I had one senior and one junior in the lineup.”

Telstar was in North Carolina last week for a team trip in which the Rebels played three games. The team arrived home last weekend and started the season Monday.

“It was a lot of fun,” York said. “It was really productive for all of us. We all got better. We came together a little bit.”

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