LEWISTON — Some softball teams would’ve folded after giving up multiple home runs in the first inning, especially on a cold, windy morning against its cross-river rival. 

Lewiston gave up two homers in the top of the first — the first on the first pitch of the game, the second a few batters later — but the energy stayed high in the Blue Devils’ dugout, the players stayed the course and finished with a 10-7 victory over Edward Little at Joseph Deschenes Field on Friday. 

“We just went with our plan,” Lewiston coach Ryan Cormier said. “We had to find little holes and weather the storm. Play our type of ball and make our plays and work out of it. Once we get in, we will get our bats going and that’s what we did.”

Maddie Emmert took the first pitch of the ball game deep over the outfielders’ heads for a home run and the first run of the game. Three batters later, Emily Barnhart reached base with a single, followed by a home run to deep right field by Isabelle Jalbert to give the Red Eddies a 3-0 lead. 

“We started out aggressively and Maddie is a junior and played a lot of softball, and so for her to step up in that leadership role was exactly what we needed her to do,” EL coach Elaine Derosby said. “… This was our first game and I think for some of them they were thinking about last year’s seniors that they were really close to, so Maddie starting off the way she did was kind of like saying, ‘This is where we’re going to go.’”

Lewiston was backed into a corner early, but the Blue Devils just needed their turn at the plate. 

In the bottom of the first, Gemma Landry reached base on a walk, followed by Morgan Brown reaching on a fielder’s choice. With two on, Elissa Nadeau singled into right field to drive in both runners and cut the deficit to one. The Lewiston dugout lit up immediately and the energy stayed at the maximum for the rest of the game.

“The first inning for us is usually rough, but once we get going and more excited and more into the game we definitely start progressing,” Lewiston’s Ahna Dostie said. 

“We were feeling good and it gives us that confidence to do what we do,” Lewiston pitcher Isabelle Cormier said. “The energy for the team, we have a really good group of girls this year and as a senior I am really happy to have this group.”

After both squads had non-eventful second innings, Lewiston gave up a run to EL thanks to a double by Hannah Smith and an RBI by Jalbert before exploding on offense for five runs of its own. The Blue Devils batted around the lineup, notching three hits and five walks with a couple of sacrifice groundouts sprinkled in to give Cormier some breathing room.

“Just knowing I have the defense behind me helped me settle down and do what I needed to do,” Cormier said. “We worked together.”

“We’ve been preaching to be patient with our batters all week and that’s what they did,” Ryan Cormier added. “They were patient at the plate and waited for their pitch selection, and when they got their pitch they jumped on it.”

EL was set down in order by Cormier in the fourth and the Blue Devils carried their offensive momentum into the bottom of the frame as Dostie stepped up to the plate. 

“I was just like, ‘I can do this, I can do this.’ Because I am not usually a very confident batter most of the time so I was like, ‘I gotta do this,’” Dostie said.

Dostie drilled a ball into right field for a home run which ended up being the game-winning run as the Blue Devils went up 8-4. 

“When I hit it I was really excited because it was the first time in a long time that I hit a home run. When I got home I said to coach, ‘That felt so good,'” Dostie said.

Smith hit a single in the fifth and later scored, then in the seventh hit a triple and scored off a Jalbert single. Smith ended a home run away from the cycle, while Emmert was missing a triple. 

“Today was a great day,” Derosby said. “We had two dome scrimmages and so this is the first time coaching since 2019. Most of these kids have been playing the whole time — last summer, this winter season. I’m just lucky to be with this group of kids who have given everything to the team.”

Lewiston added two runs in the fifth to make it 10-5 but the Red Eddies made quick work of the Blue Devils in the sixth. 

Emmert’s opening double in the seventh gave EL hope, and after Smith knocked her home with a triple, Jalbert pushed home Smith to make it 10-7. EL had two runners on later in the inning with two outs but couldn’t find the tying run.

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