Monmouth Academy pitcher Brooklynn Federico throws to the plate during a softball game against Winthrop on Thursday in Monmouth. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

MONMOUTH — There’s been an expectation amongst the Monmouth Academy softball team that the Mustangs would get the bats going this season.

Monmouth did all that and more on a cold, wet afternoon Thursday — and the result was an utter rout of a conference rival.

Monmouth pounded out 17 hits en route to a 25-5 Mountain Valley Conference victory over Winthrop. The win saw the Mustangs explode for 15 runs in the third inning to blow away the Ramblers in a statement offensive performance.

Winthrop pitcher Lauryn Wood throws to the plate during a softball game against Monmouth Academy on Thursday in Monmouth. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“Wow,” an amazed Monmouth head coach Dave Kaplan said following the win. “We have a great offense, and we know we’re going to hit this year, and that was just a great job the girls did today.”

Grace Levesque had three hits and six RBIs in the win, and Shanna Parsons had five RBIs, including a towering grand slam. All nine starters reached base at least twice for Monmouth, which avenged a stunning season-ending loss to Winthrop in last year’s Class C South quarterfinals.

Monmouth pitcher Brooklyn Federico walked three batters in the first inning as Winthrop (1-3) scored a run before the Mustangs scored two in the bottom of the second to take the lead. After Winthrop scored in the top of the second to tie it, Monmouth answered with a five-run bottom highlighted by Levesque’s three-run triple.


Yet that would have nothing on what Monmouth (4-0) would do in the third inning. Batting around twice, the Mustangs crossed the plate 15 times buoyed by seven hits and as many Winthrop walks. Levesque knocked in two runs on a triple that nearly cleared the fence, and Parsons capped it off with a grand slam that made it 22-2.

“I think one thing we’ve gotten really good at is our timing,” Levesque said. “It sometimes takes us a minute, but after that first time through, we’re just on fire. That’s what happened today. We started to get the hits, we got the momentum going, and we just didn’t stop. … We got big hits.”

Federico, who took a no-hitter into the fifth inning despite giving up the two early runs, struck out seven batters and walked four in the win. Winthrop’s Ella Rice broke up the no-hitter with a single to begin the fifth before Annabell Blais notched the Ramblers’ lone other hit later in the inning.

Winthrop’s Ella Rice, left, scores from third base on a wild pitch as Monmouth pitcher Brooklynn Federico covers the plate during first inning of a softball game Thursday in Monmouth. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The offensive outburst continued a trend of improved efforts in each game thus far for Monmouth. After scoring three runs in last Wednesday’s season opener against Oak Hill, the Mustangs scored 12 last Friday against Telstar and 16 the following against Mountain Valley before delivering their crown jewel against Winthrop.

“We’re getting better every game, and we’re starting to hit the ball really well,” Kaplan said. “Shanna and Grace both hit the fence in our last game, so they were due. They can really smack the ball. I definitely thought the one that Shanna hit was going to carry out of here. It was super close.”

Lauryn Wood, battling an illness, took the loss for Winthrop as she allowed 11 runs (eight earned) in three innings. Wood originally left with no outs in the third but was allowed to return and pitch the fourth via mutual agreement between coaches. Camdyn Roy pitched the remainder of the third for the Ramblers.

The game, originally scheduled to be played at Winthrop High School, was moved to Monmouth Memorial School hours before the game as a result of poor field conditions in Winthrop. The short middle school backstop and tighter field made for some challenges, but it was nothing the Mustangs couldn’t handle.

“We just go out and do what we do,” Levesque said. “We’re great adjusters, and if we want to go make it far this season, we can’t make excuses; we just have to go out there and play.”

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