RICHMOND — Ironically, on a day when everyone was cold, Leandra Martin felt better because of what she wasn’t wearing.

That would be two knee braces, from the two anterior cruciate ligament tears Martin suffered in previous years. Martin is throwing better than ever, and fired her first career no-hitter Thursday as Richmond defeated Buckfield, 13-1, in Class D softball action.

“When Leandra’s on the mound, we back her up 110 percent,” Richmond catcher Lindsy Hoopingarner said. “I think she’s faster this year, and her junk is working pretty good.”

The game ended by the mercy rule when Richmond (2-0) scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Martin retired the first 13 batters she faced and struck out nine batters in six innings. Buckfield (0-1) did not hit a ball out of the infield.

“She’s just ready to pitch,” Richmond coach Rick Coughlin said. “She literally would pitch every game, if I’d let her. She wants the ball. She wants to go out and pitch.”

Richmond scored in every inning, and a lot of that came from baserunning. The Bobcats stole three bases, and advanced eight other times on wild pitches or passed balls. Richmond also took a couple extra bases that were left uncovered by the Bucks. Six different Bobcats drove in runs, led by Hoopingarner (2 for 4) and Ciarra Lancaster (3 for 3) with two RBIs apiece.

“We really played a very good game today,” Coughlin said. “We’ve got speed. We hit the ball well. We bunted well. We made them play the ball, and it really helped us immensely.”

Martin struck out Buckfield’s first four batters, and didn’t allow a baserunner until Richmond had built a 6-0 lead. That was in the top of the fifth, when Hannah Gallant reached on an error. Gallant advanced to second on a groundout and came home on a two-out error.

The sun went behind the clouds to stay early in the game, and it was also windy. Martin stayed warm in the dugout with a jacket and large mittens.

“It’s really hard to stay warm,” Martin said. “You just have to throw every inning, when you’re not hitting.”

Coughlin was a little upset during the game at three errors by the Bobcats, as well as a couple baserunning mistakes. He said Richmond lost a game in preseason because of mental lapses, and he wants to keep the focus at a high level, no matter what the score.

“I say, ‘Every team is as good as you, until you prove differently,’ ” Coughlin said. “We go out there with a real good attitude. I’m really pleased with how we’re progressing.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

 


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