Spruce Mountain pitcher Alexis Bessey winds up for a pitch during Tuesday’s softball game against Leavitt in Turner.

TURNER — Leavitt Area High School coach Kevin Leonard has learned to live with his Hornets’ come-from-behind victories this season.

For Leonard, a win is win, despite the Hornets’ “long way around the barn” approach to beating teams.

And wouldn’t you know it, the Hornets (4-2) were forced to work their way back to beat the Spruce Mountain Phoenix 10-3 on an overcast and cool Tuesday afternoon.

“This is typical of our team,” Leonard said. “We come from behind. That seems to be our M.O. this season.

“It kind of gives me a heart attack up until then, but we’ve done OK so far. Up and down the lineup, they just played well. Even the subs that we put in came through. It was good game for everybody.”

The Phoenix (1-3) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning.

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Spruce Mountain’s Grace Harmatys singled and Lyndzi Dollfoff got on with an error. Two outs later, pitcher Alex Bessey loaded the bases after getting on with a sacrifice and Allison Acritelli ripped a double and brought home Harmatys and Dolloff. Acritelli went three-for-four for the day with two RBIs.

“They can hit,” Leonard said. “They are quick. The top of that lineup is tough. It’s a good club. He’s a good coach over there. He knows what is going on.”

Spruce’s two-run lead forced Leavitt to get down to work in a hurry in the bottom half of the inning. Mackenzie Treadwell singled and eventually moved third where she came home on Cassie Murch’s single. Murch, who had two hits and RBIs, scored the tying run after Emily Swann got on with an error at shortstop.

The Hornets stayed in that groove in the bottom of third with a three-run revolt to take a 5-2 lead. Pitcher Abby Robertson, Anika Mitchell and Cassidy Bunker got on thanks to an error and two walks. All three scored on one- and two-run singles from Hannah DeBlois and Bri Naniewicz, respectively. Naniewicz collected four RBIs with two hits.

The Phoenix mustered one more run in the top of the fourth. With two outs, Bessey reached first on an error and came home with the help of a pair of hits from Acritelli and Hailee Perkins.

Leavitt served up another one of those three-run innings in the fifth. Bunker headed for first on an error at third base, Treadwell singled and moved second on a stolen base They both scored on Naniewicz’s second two-run single. She eventually crossed the plate on Murch’s double to give the Hornets a healthy 8-3 lead.

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In the top of the sixth, Bailey Derocher walked and moved second when Anika Mitchell also got free pass on a walk. Derocher got caught in a rundown and scored. Leavitt’s 10th run came when Mitchell got to third base on Bunker’s walk and moved to third on DeBlois’s second single of the game. Mitchell bolted from third and scored on a wild pitch from Bessey, who suffered the loss on the mound and gave up nine Leavitt hits.

“The thing that has haunted us, I can’t say all year because we only had our fourth game … we are not deep enough that we can afford to get runners at two and three with less than two outs in an inning and not be able to plate one of them — and it happened at least twice tonight,” Spruce Mountain coach Clint Brooks said. “This is a very young team. I had one senior on the field tonight so they are learning from mistakes and the small nuances of the game.

“I am not disappointed with the game. I told the kids that when I sit down with this book tonight, I don’t think that hits wise we were trailing them a lot. Those first five inning we were in that game.”

Robertson got the win on the mound, striking out three batters and not walking a soul.

“A senior pitcher— she’s been through it all,” Leonard said. “She is a tough and gritty kid.”

Spruce Mountain second baseman Lyndzi Dolloff stretches to make a play on a ground ball during Tuesday afternoon’s softball game against Leavitt in Turner.Leavitt’s MacKenzie Treadwell slides into home to score a run before Spruce Mountain catcher Julianne Doiron fields the ball from the field during Tuesday’s game in Turner.

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