It’s looked like business as usual for the Cony softball team over its first three games. The Rams beat Lawrence 10-1, Erskine 14-0 and Brunswick 12-0.

The defending Class A state champions return pitchers Sonja Morse and Arika Brochu and both were dominant in their season debuts. Morse, a senior, allowed three hits and struck out 15 against Lawrence while sophomore Brochu allowed one hit and fanned six against Erskine and pitched a five-inning perfect game, striking out eight against Brunswick. Coach Rocky Gaslin plans to alternate the pair throughout the season, although Morse has more big game experience.

“They’re both throwing real well,” Gaslin said. “It’s hard to throw in the cold weather.”

Gaslin has shuffled a number of positions this season. Shortstop Allyssah Dennett has moved behind the plate prompting Gaslin to alternate Morse and Brochu at short.

“We tried a few out,” Gaslin said of the catching position. “She’s got a good strong arm, plus she wanted to do it.”

Junior Olivia Deeves plays third base while senior Molly Russell is playing first. Junior Maggie Russell has moved from the outfield to second base, leaving Gaslin with a whole new outfield comprised of a combination of juniors Michayla Dostie and Veronica Woods, sophomore Hannah Reise and freshman Sydney Cheever.

“They’ve been improving a lot,” Gaslin said of his outfield. “It was a rough first couple of weeks. I thought it was more important to have a solid infield.”

The Rams have hit the ball well so far.

“The surprise is the young kids are hitting pretty well,” said Gaslin, citing Woods and freshman Kassidy Turgeon.

Molly Russell has picked up where she left off last season and already has a home run. Gaslin said she would have had a couple more if not for the wind blowing in.

“She can really crush it,” he said. “She’s a strong girl with big hands. In batting practice she hits four or five.”

The Rams host a strong Oxford Hills team today.

“We’ve still got more work to do,” Gaslin said.

* * *

Leandra Martin handled most of Richmond’s pitching duties the last few seasons but Jamie Plummer was always waiting in the wings. With Martin’s graduation, Plummer has stepped into the spotlight.

The lanky senior opened the season with a pair of wins against Vinalhaven including a no-hitter. Over two games she struck out 15 and didn’t issue a walk.

“She’s throwing strikes,” Richmond coach Rick Coughlin said. “That’s the key. “She’s been doing it all preseason.”

Plummer throws fairly hard and at 6-feet tall, she gets on top of batters quickly.

“She’s long-legged and long-armed,” Coughlin said. “She’s about 30 feet away when she delivers it.”

The Bobcats are the three-time defending Western D regional champions and with nine seniors on their roster, they’re again the team to beat. New players are also contributing. Freshman Kalah Patterson starts at shortstop and sisters Kelsi and Chika Obi are playing first and catching, respectively.

The outfield is solid and experienced with Payton Johnson in left, Noell Acord in center and combination of Alyssa Pearson and Andra Meagher in right. Despite hitters like Ciarra Lancaster, who batted over .500 last year, Coughlin will again rely heavily on a small-ball attack.

“I’ve got kids up and down the lineup that can bunt,” he said.

* * *

Erskine began the season with a 5-0 loss to Bangor and a 14-0 loss to Cony, then earned convincing wins over Lewiston and Mt. Ararat to bump its record to 2-2.

“We started off with some pretty hard games,” Erskine coach Holly Tripp said. “I think it was good for our team to see what that good competition was going to look like. If you take away some errors, those games look really different, so the girls know that they need to play clean softball.”

Tripp wants the Eagles to forget about their errors and move on from them. Of course, that’s kind of tricky, because the more she talks about that, the less likely they are to forget it.

“I saw them the Monday after our Cony game,” Tripp said, “and I said, ‘OK, we’re going to talk about this for about 30 seconds, and then I’m never going to mention it again.’ “

Tripp thinks with Erskine having a young team, her players can do a nice job of forgetting mistakes. She also likes what she’s seen from the senior battery of pitcher Alyssa Gartley and catcher Alison Gauvin, as well as the defense sophomore Avery Bond has displayed in center field.

“She’s all over the place,” Tripp said. “She’s getting to balls I didn’t think anybody could get to.”

* * *

Winthrop got off to a promising start under first-year coach Bob Ouellette, who has coached many of his players through youth ball and middle school. The Ramblers opened the season with a 13-1, five-inning victory against Mountain Valley.

“My girls hit the ball very well, up and down the order,” Ouellette said. “I have a group of juniors I’ve had since they were in T-ball. They’re the core of this team.”

Randi Dennett doubled and singled three times in the win while Abby Helm doubled twice and tripled. Pitcher Kristin Doughty allowed two hits to earn the win.

“Once she gets her groove she does very well,” Ouellette said.

Ouellette is alternating his daughter Catherine and Dennett at catcher and shortstop while three freshmen — Lily Ouellette, Tessie Moody and Kennedy Connor — play in the outfield.

“I’m a big believer in this group of girls,” Ouellette said.

Matt DiFilippo contributed to this report

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

 

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