PARIS — Kelsey Sullivan keeps hitting home runs. 

The Brunswick catcher hit her ninth home run in nine games this season and helped the Dragons to a 9-3 softball victory over Oxford Hills in a showdown of unbeaten softball teams Friday at Gouin Athletic Complex. 

“I’ve coached for 40 years in baseball, basketball and softball, and I have never seen an accomplishment like that,” Brunswick coach Hugh Dwyer said home run tally. “As you saw, none of (the home runs) are cheap. We talk about ‘team,’ of course, and the point is, we know who our best player is and she handles it really well.

“She’s the most unselfish, modest person you’ll ever meet. We like to show them the muscles when we get an extra-base hit, and she’s so modest she won’t ever do it. She’s a special player.”

Sullivan’s home run came in the second inning with Brunswick (9-0) leading 3-0 and two runners on base. Sullivan crushed a pitch over the wall in left-center field, pushing the Dragons lead to 6-0.

Sullivan said after the game that her approach the plate is simple.

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“I’m not looking for anything special,” Sullivan said. “I am just looking to get on base, get a hit and score runs for my team. It’s nothing special.”

And those early runs, she said, were “huge” for the confidence of the team. 

“Momentum is a big thing in softball, and we definitely had it at the beginning of the game and kept it through most of the game,” Sullivan said. “The other team can’t really get their energy back up and we just keep going and get the win.”

In the circle, Brunswick pitcher Ellie Sullivan pitched a perfect opening three innings, not allowing an Oxford Hills (8-1) hit until the fourth, which Brunswick ended with a double play.

Ellie Sullivan gave up three runs on five hits while striking out six batters. 

“We know if we’re going to get to where we want to be, she’s going to get better and better, and she’s done that,” Dwyer said of Ellie Sullivan. “Her growth this year has been enormous.”

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“She knew she had to pitch her best today because we were facing a really good hitting team, and she really got into it and executed all of her pitches,” Kelsey Sullivan, Ellie’s sister and catcher, said.

In the fourth inning, Kelsey Sullivan tripled home Morgan Foster then scored on a single by Ellie Sullivan, making Brunswick’s lead 8-0.

Oxford Hills got on the board in the fifth inning. Chloe Estes and Elizabeth Dieterich singled, and both moved over a base on a groundout, then Erin Derenburger hit a two-run single to cut the Dragons’ advantage to 8-2.

The Vikings’ offense picked up in the later innings but not enough to threaten Brunswick’s lead.

“We hit the ball hard to somebody, so it wasn’t like they were little dubbers,” Oxford Hills coach Cindy Goddard said. “You don’t get runners on and don’t get balls in play, it’s hard to get runs in. They played hard all the way to the end and we gave up less and less as the game went on. Brunswick hit timely when they needed to.”

Foster scored for Brunswick in the top of the sixth off a double by Ellie Sullivan to put the Dragons ahead 9-2.

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Miah Gallan walked with one out in the sixth then stole second before Trinity Bernard drove her home with a single to make Vikings’ deficit 9-3.

Both teams felt the pressure and excitement of the battle between the final two undefeated teams in Class A North. 

“We were excited to play an undefeated team,” Goddard said. “These are the games you really look forward to as a coach, and unfortunately today we just didn’t have our A-game.”

“This is my 11th year coaching and we’ve never won up here,” Dwyer added. “They’re one of those programs you try to model yourself after. The girls knew the record, and we try to say, ‘One game at a time,’ but these girls do that and get after it early. If you look at our scores, we score a lot in the first and second innings. That was really big coming out like that.”

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