THOMASTON, Maine — Oceanside High School junior pitcher Rachel Frye had been struggling at the plate throughout the preseason.
But she broke out of it Friday afternoon, collecting three hits and driving in four runs, and she also tossed a four-hitter as Oceanside beat Lincoln Academy of Newcastle 10-5.
Oceanside improved to 2-0 while Lincoln Academy fell to 1-1.
Frye hit two-run singles in the first and second innings as the Mariners built an 8-0 lead. She doubled down the left field line in the fourth and courtesy runner Paige Tyler replaced her and scored on Emily Gould’s groundout.
Frye said it was nice to snap out of her slump.
“My hitting came along today,” said Frye. “I was trying to hit the ball to right field because we had runners on second and third and I wanted to get them home.”
She said she moved up in the batter’s box against Lincoln Academy freshman right-hander Abby Farrin because Farrin didn’t throw as hard as some of the pitchers they faced during the preseason.
Farrin settled down impressively after the first two innings, allowing just four hits and two runs over the final four innings.
Frye struck out 13, walked six and hit a batter while throwing 138 pitches, 89 for strikes.
She has now struck out 28 in her first two outings.
“My fastball and change-up were pretty good today,” said Frye. “My curve didn’t break as much as I hoped it would. I had been having trouble with my change-up, so it was nice that I was actually able to get it over the plate today.”
“She’s the best pitcher we’ve seen so far this season,” said Lincoln Academy junior third baseman Tara Gauntt, who had three of the four hits off Frye, including a pair of resounding run-scoring doubles.
Oceanside parlayed three walks, two hits, two stolen bases and an error into four first-inning runs.
Jill Bradbury and Kennadi Grover drew walks and, one out later, an infield error loaded the bases.
Frye grounded a sharp single to the right of second baseman Morgan Scavetta to deliver Bradbury and Grover.
She stole second to put runners on second and third and Molly Mellor’s groundout and a wild pitch plated the final two runs.
In the second, Frye and Molly Mellor hit back-to-back two-run singles following two walks and a hit batsman. There were also three stolen bases as the Mariners ran the bases aggressively throughout the game.
Gauntt doubled in a third-inning run to cut the lead to 8-1, but Oceanside got the run back in the bottom of the third on a walk, two groundouts and a wild pitch.
Frye doubled and courtesy runner Tyler eventually scored on Gould’s groundout in the fourth to make it 10-1.
But youthful Lincoln Academy, with just one senior and 11 freshmen and sophomores among the 15 players available Friday, battled back with two runs apiece in the fifth and sixth innings.
Allie Mogner’s single and Gauntt’s double produced the runs in the fifth before two walks and two errors accounted for the sixth-inning runs.
“They’re a really good team,” said Lincoln Academy coach Katie Mainville-Nichols. “They took advantage of every mistake we made. But I thought we had some good at-bats. We’re really young.”
Mellor had three RBIs for the winners.