TOWNSEND — Some days, it seems as if nothing goes wrong. Regardless of what happens, the outcome is always good. For the North Middlesex softball team, Monday was one of those days. Behind an 18-hit attack on offense and a combined two-hit shutout by Nicole Monroe and Stacia Tenore, the Lady Patriots dominated Groton-Dunstable 10-0 for their first victory of the season.
”We hit the ball hard today and got solid pitching,” said North Middlesex coach Pat Murphy. “If you get one of those things to go right, you have a shot to win. On days were both are clicking, it is tough to lose.”
For Derek Asadorian and the Lady Crusaders, it was a tough way to start the season.
”I thought we were a little lethargic at times along with being nervous,” said Asadorian. “We didn’t play as well as I hoped, but with the way they (North Middlesex) were hitting the ball, it would have been tough to get a win. We just need to improve from here.”
Monroe breezed through the first two innings, retiring all six batters she faced. On the other end, Groton-Dunstable starter Danielle Bryant escaped a two-on, one out jam in the first, but was less fortunate in the second inning.
With one out, Alicia Larsen got things going for the Lady Patriots with a double to right before advancing to third on a Kara Tansey single. Tracy Ericson then followed with a RBI single to push the first run of the game across the plate. After a line-out, Ashley Loomer delivered in a big situation, ripping a two-run double to straight away center, scoring both Tansey and Ericson to make it 3-0. Monroe helped her own cause with an RBI single to push the lead to 4-0 after two innings.
In the top of the third, Stephanie Carroll became the first Lady Crusader to reach base, drawing a one-out walk. Her stay on the bases didn’t last long as she was thrown out trying to steal by North Middlesex catcher Amanda Quin. Julie Riggert followed with an infield single and went to second on a passed ball, but Monroe stranded her there, recording a strikeout to end the inning.
North Middlesex added to their lead with two runs in the fifth. Ericson singled and took second on a sacrifice bunt by Ashley DuCharme. With two outs, Monroe delivered again, with a RBI double to center before coming around to score on a Tenore double that made it 6-0.
Tenore came on in relief of Monroe in the fifth and worked a quick 1-2-3 inning before the offense continued their big day in home half of the frame. Tansey (double) and Ericson (single) both scored on miscues to make it an 8-0 game. The Lady Patriots added two more in the sixth on RBI singles by Quin and DuCharme and Tenore closed out the contest with a perfect seventh inning to seal the deal on the win.
”We got the lead early and were able to keep adding to it,” said Murphy. “The defense did a nice job and Stacia was solid in her first varsity appearance. This is a nice win and we want to build off it.”
Monroe paced North Middlesex with a double, two singles, a run scored and two runs-batted-in at the plate while picking up the win with four innings of one-hit ball with five strikeouts and one walk. Tenore had a double, single and RBI while picking up the save, going three innings and allowing one hit while striking out three. Ericson added three singles, three runs scored, two stolen bases and a RBI while Quin and Tansey each added two hits.
Bryant picked up the loss for Groton-Dunstable, allowing eight runs on 15 hits while walking two and striking out two. Madison McEvoy did a nice job in relief, going 1 2/3 innings while allowing two runs on four hits.