AUGUSTA — The Cony softball team never escaped from a first inning hole it fell into Wednesday against Oxford Hills.

The Rams rallied in the later innings but never regained the lead in absorbing a 13-7 loss to the Vikings. The loss leaves Cony at 4-2 while Oxford Hills climbed back into playoff contention at 3-3.

Both teams have been involved in high-scoring games this season, primarily because neither has a strikeout pitcher.

“We have to play tough defense to win,” Cony coach Rocky Gaslin.

That wasn’t the case Wednesday. Not only did the Rams make five physical errors but they were also guilty of a couple of mental mistakes that cost them runs. Starter Cari Hopkins didn’t get out of the first inning as the first four Oxford Hills players reached base and scored. Junior Hannah Kenney capped the inning with a two-run homer that bounced off the top of the fence in center field.

The Vikings added six runs in the third inning when reliever Skyler Watson hit three batters and the Vikings stole two bases.

“We always come into games hot,” said Oxford Hills leadoff hitter Erin Morton, who doubled and singled twice. “Our problem has been we can’t finish them. I think today we turned (it around).”

The Rams out-hit the Vikings 12-10, including five doubles, but couldn’t quite rally from the 10-1 deficit they fell into in the third inning. They scored four runs in the fourth, getting to starter Erika Whitmore, with the key hit a two-run single from Haley Ward. Oxford Hills coach Cindy Goddard replaced Whitmore with Cody Akers and a couple of batters later lifted Akers in favor of Cora Hooker, who finished out the game.

“Over the last two games we’ve had leads and lost them in the seventh inning,” Goddard said. “We struggle in that area so it was big today to come in and have some closure.”

The Rams cut the lead to 11-7 with a pair of runs in the sixth on doubles from Sydney Cheever and Erika Turgeon. But the Vikings scored twice in the top of the seventh on a pair of infield hits and a Cony error to gain some breathing room. Turgeon singled and doubled for Cony while Ward singled twice and robbed Madison LeBlond of extra bases with a fine shoestring catch in left field in the second inning.

“The kids swung the bats and fought back and I was proud of them for that,” Gaslin said. “We’ve just got to come out of the gate a little bit better.”