BREWER, Maine — A couple of unusual occurrences and one usual marked Cony’s 10-4 softball victory over Brewer in a battle of the top two Eastern Maine Class A teams at Coffin Field on Tuesday night.
The unusual aspects were the No. 2 Rams of Augusta getting four hits in a game from Molly Russell and Cony (15-1) scoring four times in the first inning.
“I’ve been in a little slump,” said a smiling Russell. “It felt good to hit some tonight.”
Russell singled in the first run of the game in the four-run first. She said Cony often doesn’t score a lot of runs right out of the gate.
“I don’t think they were expecting us to come right out like that,” said Russell of the first-inning fireworks. “It usually takes us a while to warm up to a pitcher.”
Russell added an RBI single in the second, singled in the fourth and finished with a two-run triple in a four-run sixth inning that provided the final scoring of the game.
“We haven’t had that happen all year,” said Brewer coach Skip Estes of Cony’s four-run first. “This was probably a good experience for the kids.”
The usual aspect for the Rams was Sonja Morse striking out 10. The No. 1 Witches (15-1) attacked Morse’s pitches but found limited success.
“Just because they were undefeated [I threw harder],” said Morse. “I wanted to show them we could do it.”
Morgan Small crushed a solo homer in the first for Brewer, and senior pitcher Alexa Grindle slammed a bases-loaded triple in the fifth that cut Cony’s lead to 6-4.
“I feel, offensively, that everyone came up positive they were going to get a hit,” said Small.
The fact they came up short didn’t diminish Brewer’s effort, according to Small.
“I’m proud,” said Small. “We’ve never been a team to back down.”
The Rams got on the board when Arika Brochu singled hard up the middle, moved to second when Morse walked and scored on Russell’s single. Deeves singled in Morse, Maggie Russell reached on a fielder’s choice (erasing her sister Molly at third), Kasidy Turgeon singled in Deeves and Maggie Russell scored when the throw to the plate to get Deeves got away from the catcher.
Small hit a solo homer in the first to put the Witches on the board, but they missed a strong opportunity in the second when a Cassie Harvey single and Sam Pellegrino double put two Witches on with nobody out. Morse got two strikeouts sandwiched around a foul popout behind the plate to end the threat.
Brewer climbed back into the game with the three-run fifth.
Grindle was frustrated after her first two at-bats.
“[My teammates] told me to move back in the box,” said Grindle. “And the bases were loaded. That made it more exciting.”
Cassie Harvey had a pair of singles for Brewer. Grindle pitched the first three innings for the Witches, allowing seven hits, striking out one, walking one and hitting one. Chelsea King relieved her for the final four innings, also allowing seven hits, striking out five and walking one.
“Alexa was struggling to get people out,” said Estes. “They’re both very good. I just wanted to show [Cony] something different.”
Arika Brochu added a double and two singles for Cony, and Kasidy Turgeon had two singles and an RBI.
“We haven’t been strong the last couple of games,” said Morse. “Today, we brought it out. We’re back to where we were at the beginning of the season.”
In addition to recording the 10 strikeouts, Morse allowed six hits and two walks.
The six senior Witches — Grindle, Small, Lindsay Houp, Harvey, King and Haley Bickford — were recognized in an annual ceremony after the game that brought members of each player’s family onto the field for a photo session.
Small still believes they will have more to celebrate.
“I think we’ll still come through strongly and do well in the playoffs,” she said.