Monmouth’s Emily Chasse crosses home plate as Telstar catcher Julia Cherkis awaits a throw during the Mustangs’ 3-1 win in Monmouth on Wednesday.

MONMOUTH — Telstar coach Jim Lunney said that if you had told him before Wednesday’s Class C South softball game against Monmouth Academy that his team would hold the Mustangs to three runs, his Rebels would win the game.

The Rebels held the Mustangs to three runs, but Monmouth pitcher Emily Chasse held Telstar to just three hits in a 3-1 victory.

“We didn’t get the bats cranked up today, but the defense played great,” Monmouth co-coach Dave Kaplan said. “Error-free ball two games in a row. We’ll take that. Defense will win you games, too, when your offense isn’t clicking.”

The Mustangs (7-1) entered Wednesday’s contest on a six-game winning streak, in which they scored 93 runs. The offense started to get going right off the bat against Telstar (5-2), but four hits and five base runners across the first two innings yielded just two runs.

Mariah Herr led off the bottom of the first with a hard-hit infield single that the Rebels couldn’t contain, then she stole second. Haylee Langlois drove her home three batters later with an RBI single, but she was left stranded at second.

Abby Ferland then started the bottom of the second with a double before scoring on Rhiannon Dumond’s one-out single. Telstar pitcher Kylee Martin got out of the jam (runners at second and third) with a pair of groundouts, including a third out grounded back to her.

“I was very ecstatic with my pitching,” Lunney said.

“She was around the plate, and she changed speeds just enough,” Kaplan said. “And after coming off (Winthrop pitcher Layne) Audet yesterday, the kids just weren’t making a great adjustment because Audet throws a lot harder than that.”

The Telstar offense had just one hit through three innings against Chasse, but were able to find a little offense in the top of the fourth. Aneah Bartlett drew a walk to lead off, then moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a groundout. Josie Forbes drove her home with her second single of the game.

“Josie’s hitting the ball well,” Lunney said. “She’s done well for us.”

Forbes didn’t get any farther along the basepaths than first, and Taylor Merrill didn’t get past second after leading off the fifth with a single. Chasse picked up a pair of strikeouts on third-strike fouled bunts, then got out of the inning with a groundout.

Chasse struck out 10 batters in the game.

“The aggressiveness at bat, we’re learning that,” Lunney said. “They don’t swing enough for me. I’m a free swinger. I’m a believer that the more times we swing, the better chance we do at getting hits. We took strikes and stuff like that.”

Still, the game was within reach according to Lunney.

“I said in the fifth inning, I said ‘Girls, whoever plays the best from here on out wins this game.’ And they beat us 1-0. They deserved to win,” Lunney said. “We didn’t play well. Yesterday we played marvelously well (against Oak Hill), hit the ball, played defense, threw strikes, and today the bats just went to sleep.”

Chasse retired the final nine batters of the game, including five strikeouts.

“She’s getting much better at finishing games,” Kaplan said. “That’s getting to be a strength for her now — it hasn’t always been. And she’s getting to that point now where she’s learning to finish. Mentally stronger. Physically she’s sucking it up and throwing hard in the later innings.”

The Mustangs added an insurance run in the sixth. Chasse ripped a one-out single into left and stole second, then scored when Jessica Clavet reached on a wild-pitch third strike and an error.

The Rebels didn’t make many mistakes defensively, but when they did the Mustangs made sure it counted. Telstar was able to rob Monmouth of a few hits.

The Mustangs, meanwhile, didn’t give the Rebels any extra chances.

“We didn’t use the bats well. The opportunities weren’t there,” Lunney said. “We didn’t have many opportunities to score. Didn’t get many hits.

“Today, hey, just wasn’t our day. They played better than us, they should have won. The team that played the best today won the game.”

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Monmouth’s Emily Chasse connects on a pitch during the Mustangs’ 3-1 win over Telstar in Monmouth on Wednesday.Monmouth co-coach Dave Kaplan directs Mariah Herr around third base during the Mustangs’ 3-1 win over Telstar in Monmouth on Wednesday.Monmouth pitcher Emily Chasse and second baseman Mariah Herr track a pitch to Telstar’s Tasha Hart during the Mustangs’ 3-1 win in Monmouth on Wednesday.Telstar pitcher Kylee Martin watches her offering during a 3-1 loss to Monmouth in Monmouth on Wednesday.Telstar’s Josie Forbes connects for a hit during a 3-1 loss to Monmouth in Monmouth on Wednesday.Monmouth shortstop Tia Day makes a catch above her head while center fielder Emily Kaplan looks on during a 3-1 win over Telstar in Monmouth on Wednesday.Telstar second baseman Hannah Evans catches a throw from home while Monmouth’s Emily Chasse steals second during the Mustangs’ 3-1 win in Monmouth on Wednesday.


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