HOOSICK, N.Y. — It took a few innings to get going, but once they did, the Mount Anthony softball team was on its way in defense of last year's Division I championship.
MAU scored 10 times in the final three innings as they beat interstate rival Hoosick Falls, 13-5, on the road in their opener on Thursday.
"I'm really proud of our kids, we hit really well the first time out of the box," said MAU coach Katie Contrada. "We still have kinks to work out, but for the crazy spring weatherwise, I'm totally proud of them. Hoosick Falls is a great program, we stayed ahead the whole time. To keep the lead and drive it home, that's what we want to see."
Tied at 3-3 heading into the top of the fifth inning, the Patriots scored four times to take the lead for good.
The first three hitters of the inning — Kaity O'Brien, Kaidin Gauthier and Caroline Worthington — all had singles to load the bases with nobody out, looking for a big frame.
Lauren Woodcock came up next and cracked a two-run single to drive in O'Brien and Gauthier to take a 5-3 lead. Jamie Boyle drove in another run with a groundout to make it 6-3 and Woodcock scored on a wild pitch for a four-run advantage.
"[Kaity] is a fantastic leadoff hitter, calm and steady, and that sets the tone for the rest of the team," Contrada said. "She has pretty much no fear in there, that demeanor makes her tough."
O'Brien was 3-for-5 with three singles, while Woodcock was 2-for-5 with two RBI.
Ahead 7-4, MAU put the game away with a six-run seventh. Similar to the fifth, the Patriots started the rally with three straight singles, this time from Boyle, Kori Bow and Katie Saunders. Off the bench, Jordyn Upright hit a two-run single to make it 9-4 and then Marleigh Greene added a three-run triple to blow the game open.
"[Marleigh's] a great hitter and a big leader for us, she gets in [the batter's box] and believes in herself, she just lets the ball ride," Contrada said. "When she's doing that, the ball is going to go. We believe in her and we're excited to see more to come."
Bow and Taylor Dicranian also had a pair of base hits.
Hoosick Falls, playing in its second game of the year, stayed with Mount Anthony through the first four innings. In the second inning down two, the Panthers cut the lead in half after a walk, an error and a RBI groundout by eighth-grader Mackenzie Ellis. Down 3-1 in the fourth, Hoosick tied the game with a pair of runs on singles from Ellis and Lizza Ryan in the leadoff spot.
In the fifth inning, Sydney Miller crushed a bomb over everything in dead center to cut the deficit to three, and Erika Quackenbush one of her own in the seventh to get the game to its 13-5 final.
Ryan and Quackenbush each had a pair of hits in the contest.
"It feels amazing, everyone was hitting," Miller said. "We want to be explosive at the plate.
Alyssa Ellis went the distance for the Panthers, allowing 13 runs and striking out two. For Mount Anthony, Dicranian went the first five innings, allowing four runs, six hits and three strikeouts before giving way to Katie Saunders, who finished the last two innings, allowing one run, one hit and three strikeouts.
Both teams turn around to play today, Mount Anthony at Fair Haven and Hoosick Falls at Greenwich.