AUGUSTA, Maine — Cony High School catcher Alyssah Dennett said she had been thinking too much at the plate before Friday afternoon’s softball game against fellow KVAC foe Skowhegan.
Intestinal flu-like symptoms took her mind off her hitting some and it paid off for the Rams’ junior.
She homered to lead off the bottom of the first and added a single and a double to spark Cony’s 12-0, five-inning victory over the Indians.
“Before the game, I wasn’t feeling well,” Dennett said, but she felt well enough to tell coach Rocky Gaslin that she could play.
Batting leadoff, Dennett drilled a ball over the left field fence and into the drainage ditch just short of the entrance road to the school for her first home run of the season.
“I just swung easy and it went,” she said.
The day was notable for Dennett, too, based on her spot in the batting order.
“This is my first day batting leadoff,” she said afterward. “I hit third before.”
She wasn’t the only one.
“[Gaslin] moved everybody around today. It looks like it worked,” said Dennett.
The game looked like it could have been a tight one for the two teams. Defending Class A state champion Cony entered the game undefeated and ranked third in the Eastern Maine Heal points, while the Indians were fourth.
Cony ace Sonja Morse’s pitching and three Skowhegan errors quickly changed all that.
“We didn’t play as good as we needed to,” said Skowhegan coach Lee Johnson, “and everything bounced their way.”
Gaslin was as surprised as anyone that the game turned into a runaway.
“Based on the records, I thought it would be a tight one,” said Gaslin. “I know they’re better than they played today.”
Arika Brochu added a two-run homer in the fourth for the Rams (9-0), Sydney Cheever hit a two-run double in the same inning, and Morse posted two singles and an RBI.
Morse limited the Indians (7-3) to a pair of hits, a leadoff single by Shelby Obert and a two-out double in the fourth by Kaitlyn Therriault.
Skowhegan starter Taylor Johnson struck out two and walked three in three-plus innings, but she also gave up nine hits, including five to start the fourth inning. Therriault came on with no outs in the fourth and struck out one, walked one and gave up a hit.
After Dennett’s homer, the Rams added four runs in the second by taking advantage of two Skowhegan infield errors to go with two Cony hits and a walk.
Maggie Russell singled in the third, stole second, took third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hannah Reis.
The Cony batters came out swinging in the fourth to collect six runs and bring the 12-run rule into play.
Dennett doubled to lead off and Brochu followed with a blast to center field that cleared the 210-foot fence by a good 20 feet.
Morse added a single and scored on Molly Russell’s single and an outfield error as the ball bounced off the left fielder toward center field. Olivia Deeves doubled in Molly Russell, Maggie Russell walked and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Cheever knocked them in to close the scoring, and Morse struck out the side in the fifth to end the game.
It was Cony’s third straight 12-0 victory, fourth straight shutout and sixth shutout of the season.
“We’re just strong all the way around,” said Dennett. “We’re hitting really good.”
Gaslin was just glad everything came together for the Rams.
“We were fortunate to have pitched well and made good contact [at the plate],” said Gaslin.
Johnson could only tip his hat.
“I don’t think they did anything wrong today,” he said. “Sometimes you just run into a perfect storm.”