Patriots' offense awakens as lineup scrambled
BENNINGTON — After last week's loss to Pittsfield, Mount Anthony softball coach Katie Contrada thought it would be a good idea to mix up her lineup a little bit.
Among other moves, she moved Lauren Woodcock up to the leadoff spot, with Kori Bow in the middle of the order, cleaning up.
The changes paid big dividends, as Mount Anthony racked up 14 hits and 13 runs in a 13-3 win over Wahconah on Wednesday.
"After a loss, it's OK to shake things up and try something new," Contrada said. "I think we have a lot of great hitters and it takes a few games to find the right order, I'm not sure if we have yet. We have some new [players], and getting the right combo is really crucial."
Bow was the biggest hitter on the day, going 4-for-4 at the dish with three runs scored and a pair of RBI. Three others had multiple hit days, including Kaity O'Brien, 2-for-5, Cat Worthington, who was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and Kaidin Gauthier, who was 3-for-4 with a triple and two singles out of the No. 9 spot in the lineup.
The main damage came in the third for the Patriots. Tied at 3-3, the first five hitters reached base. O'Brien started with a single to center, then Taylor Dicranian added an infield single. Bow singled in a run on a shot to center and Worthington drove in a pair on a blast to left.
Jamie Boyle came up next and kept the train rolling with a base hit and RBI, making it 7-3 in an instant and pulling Wahconah coach Dustin Belcher out of the dugout to calm his pitcher, Allie Borowsky, down.
"We didn't do a very good job behind her today," Belcher said. "She wasn't able to get some of the pitches she does, so she had to bring the ball up and that's a good hitting team. They put it in play and we had far too many errors."
After batting around, the Patriots scored a pair of runs in the next three innings to put the game away. In the fourth, O'Brien singled and so did Bow. Boyle reached on an error by the third baseman and Marleigh Greene singled to get two more runs and make it 9-3.
Woodcock, the only person not to reach base in the first three innings for MAU, finally got on by a walk and then got to third after an error by the Warriors' pitcher. She then scored on a groundout from O'Brien.
"It feels really good that we can come back from a loss," Bow said. "We were expecting a good game and toward the end, we pulled ahead. We switched [the lineup] and so the big hitters had runners on to [drive in.]"
The Warriors had a golden opportunity to come back in the fifth, but a great defensive play from Bow put a stop to that. Marki LaRochelle and Kelly McMahon each singled to put two on with no one out. Ashley Zink then lined out softly to the senior shortshop, who immediately threw to third to double off the runner.
"I was playing closer than usual with a [runner] on third, I saw it and felt [the ball] land in my glove and I thought, 'I have this.'," Bow said. "My first thought was to go to the closest base and she was far off it."
Borowsky singled and Warren reached via error to keep the inning going, but Dicranian induced a ground out to leave the bases loaded.
Wahconah scored first in the top of the first. After the first two hitters grounded out, Chloe Warren got a base hit to right and advanced to third on an error, then scored on a hit by Jess Warren for a 1-0 lead.
In the second inning, MAU retook the lead with three runs — started off by back-to-back doubles from Bow and Worthington — and capped by Gauthier's two-run double.
Wahconah tied it themselves in the top of the third. LaRochelle blooped a single to lead off and then after a strikeout, Zink had a basehit as did Borowsky to score a run. Chloe Warren added an RBI on a groundout.
"We battled back down 3-1, then we had something brewing in the fifth, but couldn't get the timely hit," Belcher said. "We dug ourselves a big hole."
Contrada said that despite getting down early, her team had no fears about losing the game.
"We never thought we would lose and I'm proud of them for sticking with it," said Contrada, whose Patriots improve to 4-1 on the year.
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