HERMON, Maine — The Hermon High School softball team pushed across five runs in a bizarre first inning that saw the Hawks collect just one hit and strike out four times and senior righthander Lexi MacManus did the rest as the undefeated Hawks won their eighth game, 6-0, over John Bapst High on Tuesday.
John Bapst of Bangor fell to 4-4.
MacManus pitched a complete game, allowing five hits, all singles, while striking out two and walking three. She threw 82 pitches, 57 for strikes.
Hard-throwing John Bapst junior righty Kayla Massey pitched very well in defeat as just one of the runs off her was earned. She allowed six singles, struck out seven, walked one, hit a batter and threw 89 pitches of which 61 were strikes.
MacManus started the decisive first-inning rally with one out by reaching on a dropped throw to first on a swinging strike three.
She escaped a rundown between first and second thanks to an errant throw, reaching second. A passed ball and wild pitch enabled her to score.
Hailey Perry walked, wound up on third on a pair of passed balls and, after Breanne Oakes was hit by a pitch and stole second, Katie Windsor blooped a two-run single into short center field.
“Kayla is a phenomenal pitcher. I know her pretty well,” said Windsor. “She has a lot of really good spins and I knew that anything that looked remotely low, I would need to hop on it in order to get it in the field, playable.”
Chloe Raymond reached on a passed ball on a called third strike and when an errant throw was made from first to third to try to nail Windsor on the play, Windsor scored and Raymond wound up on second.
A passed ball and a wild pitch allowed Raymond to score.
Hermon added an insurance in the second on Laura Zenk’s infield single, her stolen base and Perry’s run-scoring single.
The Hawks played errorless defense behind MacManus, turning in several nice plays to keep the Crusaders off the board. Shortstop Raymond handled six balls flawlessly and catcher Perry made a pair of nifty plays on foul balls and threw out a baserunner trying to steal.
MacManus said she “tried to hit my spots with my spin pitches and not allow any home runs.
“I thought I did well. I walked a couple batters but I try not to get too worked up with batters on base because you only make it harder on yourself,” she said.
“She did real well. She worked the inside and outside and her velocity was good,” said Massey.
“Her curveball and screwball are what do it for her,” said Perry.
The Crusaders mounted their biggest threat in the seventh when Jasmine Cheney and Morgan Leighton lined one-out singles to left and center, respectively, and Jasmine McCullough drew a walk.
But MacManus got a strikeout and a foul popup to end it.
Massey, who throws a fastball, two changeups, a curve, a drop, a rise and a screwball, said she was satisfied with her performance.
“I worked a lot on all of my pitches in the offseason and I was pleased with the way I pitched today and the way the team played around me,” said Massey.
“[Massey] pitched exceptionally well,” said John Bapst coach Shannon Whiting. “She kept herself in the game. She didn’t get frustrated with the balls going behind [the catcher].”
Zenk had a pair of singles for Hermon and Leighton had a pair for John Bapst, which played errorless ball after the first inning.
“We have a young team. The girls worked hard and they didn’t give up,” said Whiting.