JAY — The Spruce Mountain Phoenix’s 14-hit performance Wednesday rocked Telstar and astonished their coach.

The Phoenix (1-1) homed in on the Rebels (2-2) from the get-go and produced two high-scoring innings en route to 14-2 victory in an six-inning MVC softball game shortened by the 12-run rule.

Spruce Mountain coach Lisa Dube was still trying to get her head around the Phoenix’s impressive win.

“I was pleasantly surprised with our turnout today,” Dube said. “I didn’t expect it after losing a tough one yesterday to what I thought was a lesser team.

“So, overall, with this young club, they amazed me today. Those were freshmen who were hitting the ball, too. I have had them since they were sixth-graders. That helps.”

Spruce collected its first run thanks to an RBI single by winning pitcher Hannah Turcotte (three hits), who sent catcher Abby Ortiz (two hits) home after Ortiz got on with a walk and stole second base.

“Hannah comes to this team as one of the two seniors we have,” Dube said. “Her and the catcher, Abby Ortiz, bring this team a lot of leadership.”

The Phoenix were only starting to spread their wings at that point. They flew off the handle with a six-run outburst in the second inning. Spruce used four hits, a hit batter, a bunt and a dropped ball to produce the six runs. Outfielder Jaydn Pingree (three hits) highlighted the onslaught with a two-run single.

“I felt confident going in,” Turcotte, who went the distance, said. “Going in was unpredictable, but I stayed strong and trusted my defense and had a good outcome today. We have a very young team this year and I am so proud of every one of the girls that played today.”

The Rebels eventually responded with two runs of their own in the top of the third inning. Catcher Shelby Thorman got on with hit and scored when Natasha Mason reached first on an error. Mason would eventually score on another Spruce error to make it a 7-2 game in favor of the Phoenix.

“It was a mixed bag,” Telstar coach Scott White said. “We did some things well and other things we need to work on, obviously. A little disappointing, but I tip my hat to that team. They did everything well. They put the bat on the ball, and even the substitutes came in and put the bat on the ball, and made very few defensive mistakes.

“The pitcher is probably one of the better pitchers we’ve seen this year.”

The Phoenix didn’t leave empty-handed in the bottom of the third. Outfielder Emma Towers was hit by a pitch and eventually scored when losing pitcher Brooklyn Kimball walked Spruce shortstop Leah Burgess with the bases loaded.

Spruce Mountain went on another tear in the fifth inning with another five runs. Four hits and a two-run single by Burgess did the trick, putting the Phoenix ahead 13-2.

The Phoenix sealed their victory in the bottom on the sixth. Ortiz was hit by a pitch and scored on Jazmine Pingree’s grounder to second, after which the 12-run rule was implemented.


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