HERMON, Maine — Knowing they were going to be in a pitching bind Saturday, runs were a critical factor for the Hermon softball team.
Turns out the Hawks got just enough of them, pushing across two runs in the bottom of the first before a decisive four-run third-inning uprising proved to be enough for a 6-5 Class B victory over Old Town.
Those offensive efforts backed pitchers Jessie Devou, Debbie Colpitts and Sami Schultz, who collaborated to allow seven hits and four earned runs.
Sophomore lefty Colpitts, who has been battling a sore back as of late, pitched four strong innings in relief of starter Devou to pick up the win, while Schultz worked around a first-and-second jam in the seventh to nail down the save.
“We knew we were in a pitching situation where [Devou] just got her wisdom teeth out and [Colpitts] has a sore back, and we knew that would have to put [up] some runs,” said senior first baseman Erin Arnold, who worked two walks and scored the game’s first run from the leadoff spot.
The Hawks parlayed a couple walks, a single, wild pitch and error into a pair of first-inning runs for a 2-0 lead.
Old Town came back and put up a three-spot in the second, with Micayla Hussey’s run-scoring double giving the Coyotes a 3-2 advantage.
Hermon then took the lead for good in the third, with McKayla Bates driving a two-run single to right and Jaimie Beers lacing a two-run single to center for a 6-3 Hawks advantage.
That was enough to back Colpitts, who scattered two runs on three hits while striking out four and not walking a batter in four innings of work.
“She did a nice job, she came out with confidence and had very good control today, so that was very good to see from her,” said Hermon coach Stephanie Biberstein.
Old Town scored twice in the fourth to creep back within a run. Whitney Leland got the rally started with a one-out double, and she scored on a wild pitch after Hussey had singled.
Leland had to leave the game after scoring, however, as she injured her ankle sliding into home plate.
Hannah Morin, who is normally coach Lester Cowan’s ace, drove in the Coyotes’ final run with a double down the right-field line.
Morin has been bothered by a torn patella tendon in her right leg, which Cowan says prevents her from generating any push off the rubber.
“We just need to rest her, she can hit as long as the pain [doesn’t bother her],” said Cowan, who got a solid complete-game effort from McKayla Gastia, who didn’t allow a hit after the third inning.
“She’s going to have to pitch a lot of innings for us until Hannah can get healthy,” Cowan said.
The Coyotes had a chance to tie it against Hermon freshman righty Schultz in the seventh, as Morin reached on a one-out error before she was erased on a fielder’s choice.
Old Town was granted a second life when Amy Singer struck out with Sarah Wilcox on first, but since Wilcox was attempting to steal second, Singer was safe at first on the dropped third strike.
But Schultz didn’t wilt, and she got the next batter on six pitches to improve Hermon’s record to 6-1.
“Sami did an awesome job, especially as a freshman with the pressure on,” said Beers. “She did an amazing job stepping up.”
With the season the Coytoes sitting one slot ahead of the Hawks in the latest Heal points, it’s certainly a win Hermon can build on.
“This is was definitely an important game especially since Old Town was ahead of us in the rankings,” Beers said. “It shows what we can definitely do and that we definitely deserve a high spot.”
The Hawks were led offensively by Beers, who had two singles and two runs batted in while Ashley Thayer reached base all four times out of the cleanup spot with three walks and on an error while scoring a couple runs.
Lily Barry singled and scored in the third for Hermon.
For Old Town, which dipped to 4-2, Hussey finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored while Morin was also 2-for-4 with an RBI.