FAIRFIELD — A promising preseason almost turned to dust for Lawrence softball this month. The Bulldogs lost both of their first two games, by a combined score of 27-3.

That’s not the Lawrence team that beat Lewiston on Monday, and it’s not the team that showed up against Mt. Blue on Wednesday afternoon. The Bulldogs drilled out 12 hits, including Lauren Watson’s first career home run, in a 10-6 victory over the Cougars.

“In the first couple games, I think we just weren’t really ready to play,” Lawrence coach Joey Marcoux said. “We had played really well in preseason, and things had been very successful for us, and I think that the kids got complacent.

“When we went down to Lewiston, all of a sudden, we decided to become the team that we had been. And things really turned around for us today.”

“It’s hard to defend base hits,” Mt. Blue coach Chuck Wallace said. “They didn’t put their heads down, but the home run that was hit by the young lady definitely set the tone for the rest of the game. Base hits win ball games.”

Watson’s homer came with Lawrence already ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning on a RBI single by pitcher Lilly Herrin to score Sarah Chace. With two out, Watson jumped on the first pitch and sent a liner over the fence in dead center field for a three-run shot.

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“I’ve never hit a home run before in my life,” Watson said. “I worked on hitting all day yesterday. I kind of got a new form down. Everybody told me, ‘Watch the first pitch. Watch the first pitch.’ But it wasn’t worth getting a strike over it.”

Back in September, Watson was playing field hockey when she scored the winning goal in double overtime against Messalonskee, leaving Lawrence as the only undefeated team in Eastern A.

“The thrill over scoring against Messalonskee in field hockey, that’s probably what it amounted to here,” Watson said. “First home run. It was just an incredible feeling. It’s an adrenaline rush. It’s great.”

Mt. Blue fought back in the top of the third, scoring two runs on a single by Rachelle Bator and another when Bator came home on a passed ball. After Lawrence scored twice in the bottom of the third, Mt. Blue tied it at 6-6 in the top of the fourth on RBI singles by Bator, Moesha Harrington, and Lauren Guppy.

Lawrence (2-2) kept the see-saw going by scoring three times in the bottom of the inning. The big hit was a two-run single by Emily McLean, who had two hits on the day. Chace also had two hits, and freshman Haley Holt singled three times.

“We’re starting to swing the bats pretty well,” Marcoux said. “It took us a little time to get used to the pitcher. But then we starting squaring the ball up and really hitting it well.”

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Relief pitcher Sam Marshall, another freshman, shut down Mt. Blue over the final three innings. After Caitlin Kane singled with one out in the fifth for her second hit of the day, Marshall retired the last eight batters in a row.

“Both of the pitchers have done a nice job this year,” Marcoux said. “They don’t have a lot of stamina, so unless things are going really, really well (they won’t) finish a full game.”

It was third close loss in a row for the Cougars, who dropped to 1-3. Mt. Blue could take heart in rallying from both four-run and three-run deficits. It’s a trait the Cougars have shown in the past.

“They’ve always come from behind in (other) years,” Wallace said. “They know how to fight their way out, and it just didn’t work out for us this time.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo


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