Patriot bats continue to be on fire

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BENNINGTON >> It took about an inning to get rolling, but once they did, the Mount Anthony softball team continued a run of amazing offensive production on Wednesday in a 17-0 rout in five innings against Burr and Burton.

After a single run in the first, MAU put up eight in the second and six more in the third. For the seventh straight game, the Patriots scored at least 10 runs.

"I think that not only do they have great swings, mentally they are in their at bats," said MAU coach Katie Contrada, whose team improves to 12-1 with the victory. "Mentally, hitting is where you can have setbacks, but they've gone in confident, cleared their mind and that's half the battle at the plate."

The Patriots hit up and down the lineup. Cat Worthington had the best day from the No. 3 spot, crushing a grand slam in the second inning to give MAU an 8-0 lead.

In the leadoff spot, Kaity O'Brien was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and two runs and Kaidin Gauthier, Lauren Woodcock, Jamie Boyle and Jordyn Upright all had two hits and at least one RBI.

"We have a lot of good team chemistry this year, when one gets a solid hit, even if it's an out, everyone else relaxes and they believe they can do it. It's about taking good hard swings and [being] confidence," Contrada said.

In the first inning, O'Brien led off the game with a single and came in on Kori Bow's sacrifice fly. In the second, MAU got going in a hurry. Upright, Katie Saunders and Cheyanne Guetti all reached and then on the first pitch, O'Brien drove in two with a single to left.

After Gauthier reached, Worthington crushed a Jen Kiernan pitch over the left field fence, her fifth homer in the last seven games.

"I definitely wasn't trying to hit a homer, I was trying to make contact to score runs with the bases loaded," Worthington said. "There's no secret, I just swing the bat and it makes good contact."

Bow doubled to keep the inning moving and Boyle cracked an RBI triple to make it 9-0.

"When [one person] hits, it falls through the rest of the lineup and keeps the momentum going," Worthington said.

In the third, the MAU bats stayed hot as they batted around for the second time in three innings. Singles from O'Brien and Gauthier led to Woodcock coming up three batters later and clearing the bases with a long double for a 12-0 lead.

Boyle drove home Woodcock with a double and Saunders drove Upright in later in the frame.

Saunders pitched a one-hitter, her only blemish a bloop single into no man's land in the fourth off the bat of Rachel Senecal. Saunders struck out six and only allowed two base runners. Out of 17 BBA at-bats, only three got the ball into the outfield.

"Katie has been an important part of the team and risen to the expectations," Contrada said. "She's come in with confident and she's gotten it done for us. And having two versatile pitchers [in Saunders and Taylor DiCranian] have helped our offense too — they hit off them during practice, so they get used to see pitches from both sides, right and left. It's very advantageous to our offense."

The Patriots will try to keep the bats rolling when they travel to face Otter Valley on Friday.


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