RICHMOND — The game plan in basketball the last few years was if you could handle Jamie Plummer, you could handle Richmond.
It’s the same thing in softball, and it’s not any easier in the spring.
In a rematch of last year’s Western D final, Plummer threw a two-hitter and went 3 for 3 at the plate from the ninth spot in the order as Richmond posted a 12-0 victory over Rangeley on Friday afternoon.
“I definitely think adrenaline carried us through this game,” Plummer said. “We were psyched for Rangeley to come down and it would be a good game for us. It was a good day.”
The game was called by the mercy rule after Kelsie Obi scored Richmond’s 12th run in the bottom of the sixth. Still, there’s reason to believe the teams are more evenly matched than the score shows.
Rangeley was playing its first game of the season and Monday was the first time the Lakers did softball activities outside this season. Richmond (3-0), meanwhile, had preseason scrimmages and a doubleheader against Vinalhaven.
“You played a team that’s only been out one day, compared to a team that’s played 10 games, it makes a difference,” Richmond coach Rick Coughlin said. “We’re very fortunate to have had 10 games.”
That difference was most evident in Richmond’s 16 stolen bases and in the two pitchers. Plummer has been pitching for Richmond since she was a freshman. After giving up a leadoff single to Abby Abbott, she did not allow another hit until Blayke Morin singled with two out in the top of the sixth inning.
Rangeley sophomore Taylor Esty, on the other hand, has been the Lakers’ starting catcher the last two years. Esty has an injury that prevents her from catching, so she has moved to the circle. She threw 129 pitches on Friday, and in the sixth inning, lost some velocity and control as she got tired.
“Her first day pitching off a mound was (Thursday),” Rangeley coach Ashley Quimby said.
Esty started strong, giving up two runs in the second but striking out five over the first two innings. Richmond made it 3-0 in the third on a bloop double by freshman Kalah Patterson, then 5-0 in the fourth on RBI singles by Plummer and Andra Meagher.
The Bobcats got seven runs in the sixth. The big hits were a two-run single by Meagher and a game-ending single by Chika Obi with runners on first and third.
“Richmond’s a great team,” Quimby said. “You can’t take that away from them. They field well. They hit well. Great coach.”
Quimby said she is still optimistic that Rangeley will be a contender in Western D.
“We’ve got a great team,” Quimby said. “We proved we could hit today. It’s not like everybody struck out. We made some great plays in the field. There was some miscommunication and a few errors, but that’s nothing that’s not going to work out throughout the season, so I’m all set with how we played today.”
Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243