LISBON — Spruce Mountain pitcher Adelle Foss had everything going for her, including the support of a grateful Phoenix defense.

Throw timely hitting into the mix and it explains why the Phoenix slipped away with 7-4 victory over the feisty Lisbon Greyhounds in an exciting Mountain Valley Conference softball game Friday.

Foss didn’t flinch when the Phoenix were in several tough jams. She walked two batters and struck out four.

“I felt good,” Foss said. “It was obviously a big ‘W’ to have and get, and it is going to give us (Heal) points over the season, which is good. Yeah, definitely frustrating moments …but we kept it together. There is nothing you can do about calls so you just got to keep going and going.

“I am very proud of how our team played. We didn’t get down on ourselves. I think our bats were awesome. Our defense was on-point today. That’s all we can really ask for.”

The Phoenix constructed a 5-0 lead going into the fifth inning.

But in the bottom of the fifth, the Greyhounds (5-4) pulled off an impressive coupe, collecting three runs off some harrowing base running without a single hit.

Lisbon’s Sydney Plourde was hit by a pitch, Joanna Turner walked and Sarah Haggerty got on due to an error at first base. But Haggerty caught up to Turner, who was still on second and Plourde holding up at third base.

Haggerty tried to race back to first but was thrown out. Plourde raced for home, slid and was called safe. An errant throw by Spruce Mountain catcher Abby Ortiz, who trying to get another runner out at first base, allowed Turner and Giana Russo, who got on with a sacrifice, to score two more runs.

Spruce Mountain was now feeling a little uncomfortable after watching its lead shortened to two runs, 5-3.

“I do not know a lot about Lisbon, but I do follow their scoring and they put a lot of runs on the board … I had a feeling it was going to be an offensive show,” Spruce Mountain coach Clint Brooks said. “It didn’t turn out to be exactly that, but, hey, our defense at the beginning of the year, we were a little shoddy on defense. We really were. We kept talking about it at every practice.

“I thought we looked good today. We made a couple of mistakes. The thing is all teams are going to make mistakes … and we are not exempt from that, but what you try to do is minimize the effect of that, and that’s what we are looking to do.”

Of course, it helped having Foss in the circle.

“Adelle is a totally different style pitcher. I call her a pitcher’s pitcher,” Brooks said. “She throws about four different speeds, and any batter that’s standing there knows that’s tough. “

With Lisbon continuing to threaten, Spruce Mountain responded with two much-needed runs in the top of the seventh inning.

Outfielder Calley Baker got on with one of her two hits for the day and scored with the help of two passed balls. Julianne Doiron, who belted her third hit, came home on shortstop Haley Turcotte’s sacrifice fly.

But Lisbon wasn’t through yet and scored a run in the bottom of the seventh. Plourde got on with an error at first base and Russo singled with two outs in the game. Plourde came home on catcher Mallory Fairbanks’ RBI single.

“Spruce is always a good team,” Lisbon coach Terri Tlumack said. “They are always competitive. We went 13 or 14 innings last year with them, so we knew what to expect.

“I said to the girls, ‘If we started an inning earlier or had an inning more to play, it would have been the difference in the ball game. We couldn’t string together a set of hits, which as you know is important in this game. We made contact. We didn’t strike out. We didn’t make fielding errors. We just couldn’t get it together.”

Spruce Mountain set the tone of the game in the top of the first inning when Doiron and Turcotte each smacked back-to-back RBI doubles, and Ortiz brought home another run when she flied out to center field.

The Phoenix pushed across two more runs in the fourth inning on Baker’s RBI single and an infield sacrifice by Hannah Turcotte. Foss and Castonguay both scored after reachign on singles. For the day, Spruce hammered out nine hits. 

Lisbon starter Erica Hill got the loss after going four innings before being relieved by Fairbanks in the top of the fifth.


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