BY GARY HAWKINS
It seemed unlikely Cony would approach the home run record it set a year ago with 22, but the Rams appear headed for a similar season this spring.
In Monday’s 11-4 win against Edward Little, the Rams hit five balls over the fence, two coming from pitcher Sonja Morse and one each from Alyssa Brochu and Maggie and Molly Russell. Morse added another one in Tuesday’s win against Mt. Ararat and so far the Rams have seven homers in six games.
“The girls are seeing the ball pretty well and making some adjustments,” Cony coach Rocky Gaslin said.
Morse added two triples and a single to go with her home run Tuesday and drove in five runs. Gaslin said the senior is hitting better than she did a year ago, a feat considering she batted .479 with five homers and 30 RBIs last season.
“She’s keeping her head on the ball,” he said.
Cony’s pitching remains strong. Brochu has a perfect game already and has yet to give up a run in three games. Tuesday, she allowed one hit and struck out seven without issuing a walk. Morse, who alternates on the mound with Brochu, has struggled by her standards although she is also 3-0 and has struck out 41 batters.
“Early in the season she didn’t get a lot of work,” Gaslin said. “She’s getting a little worn out after five innings. It’s a process in the spring.”
Everyone in the Cony lineup is swinging the bat well. Along with veterans Olivia Deeves and Alyssah Dennett, Michayla Dostie and newcomers Sydney Cheever and Veronica Wood are also hitting well. Before Tuesday’s 20-hit game, the Rams were batting .437 as a team.
“I liked the line drives I saw (Tuesday),” Gaslin said.
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Hall-Dale is 3-2 following Wednesday’s win against Monmouth and progressing nicely with a young lineup. So far the Bulldogs have wins against Spruce Mountain, Wiscasset and Monmouth and losses to Madison (3-0) and Dirigo (4-0), two of the favorites in the Mountain Valley Conference.
“We’ve got a couple of kids that are coming around,” Hall-Dale coach Christen Lachapelle said. “Emily Maynard is handling the pitching staff well.”
Maynard, a junior, has moved to catcher after playing second base last season. One of the pitchers is her sophomore sister Olivia while the other is freshman Becca Ackerson, who allowed just four hits in the loss to Madison.
“We kind of ran into a couple of mental mistakes on defense,” Lachapelle said of the loss.
Lachapelle has also been impressed with the play of sophomore Morgan Rush, who has been a designated player and is expected to pitch at some point.
“Her growth from last year as a freshman is pretty incredible,” she said. “She’s playing with a lot more confidence.”
Rush and Olivia Maynard have had a couple of big hits so far, but Lachapelle would like to se the rest of the offense get going, too.
“They’re eager,” she said. “They want to prove themselves.”
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Oak Hill’s 0-2 start might be a cause for alarm, especially considering the Raiders lost 20-0 in their opener against Madison. But they’ve since won three in a row, thanks to the return of pitcher Kortni Michaud, who was away on a trip during the opening two games. Michaud struck out eight and nine batters, respectively, in the first two games she pitched and threw a one-hitter against Lisbon on Wednesday.
“When Kortni’s on the field, everyone just breathes easier,” Oak Hill coach Allyson Collins said. “Everyone just settles down. She’s a great all-around player and that helps.”
Collins is still awaiting the return of senior Brianna Hodgkins and junior Lauren Beganny, who have both been out with injuries.
“We’re almost back to full strength,” Collins said. “The players who have taken their place have done extremely well.”
In addition to Michaud, Kelsey Collins, Alyssa Rouleau and Brooke LeBel have hit well for the Raiders. The played at Lisbon on Wednesday and today host Mountain Valley.
“It’s going to be a test,” Collins said.
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Kents Hill junior Nina Murray had herself a day against Hebron Academy recently. The Huskies rallied from a six-run deficit to take a 12-11 win and Murray did most of the damage, driving in seven of the team’s 12 runs while belting two homers, including a grand slam.
“She’s really a hockey player, a really competitive kid,” Kents Hill coach Tom Marshall said of the Boston native.
Sophomore center fielder Emma Curnin also contributed to the victory with a couple of key hits and three outstanding catches.
The Huskies are 2-2.
Gary Hawkins — 621-5638