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Lady Crusaders put it all together and gain first win

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’We got some big hits at the right time and were able to manufacture some runs.’ – Derek Asadoorian, Groton-Dunstable softball coach

AYER — On Thursday afternoon, Mother Nature wasn’t the only one providing thunder and lightning. The Groton-Dunstable softball team broke out in fine fashion after dropping their first two game of the season. Behind a 10-hit attack and solid pitching from Madison McEvoy in her first varsity start, the Lady Crusaders moved to 1-2 on the season with a 10-4 victory over Ayer.

”Our bats came alive today and the girls looked more confident at the plate and that was the difference,” said Groton-Dunstable coach Derek Asadoorian. “I thought Madison did a nice job in the circle for us and the defense was good. Hopefully, we can carry this effort over to our next game.”

For Lady Panthers coach Dan Civitarese, there were some positives to take from the loss.

”I thought Erin Megan pitched well, they (G-D) just hit the ball well today,” said Civitarese. “Our top of the order did a nice job; we just need to get more production from the entire line-up.”

Both teams went quietly in the second, but in the third Groton-Dunstable exploded for five runs to take control of the contest. Julie Riggert singled and Christiana Rogers was hit by a pitch to put two runners on. After a pop out, Erin O’Donnell delivered an RBI single before advancing to second on the throw to the plate. Kristen Koed followed with a two-run single before scoring on a throwing error. Stephanie Carroll brought home the fifth run of the inning with a triple that scored Tracey Atwood as the Lady Crusaders held a 5-1 lead.

With the lead cut to three at 5-2, Groton-Dunstable responded with two more runs in the top of the fourth. Riggert and Rogers led off the inning with singles before advancing a base on a sacrifice bunt by Kate Johnson. A groundout to short by O’Donnell scored Riggert and a wild pitch allowed Rogers to score as the lead grew to five at 7-2.

Carlson got a run back on her for Ayer in the fifth inning to cut the lead to four. The junior laced a triple to the right centerfield gap and scored on a throwing error to make it a 7-3 game, but the Lady Crusaders put the game out of a reach with a three-run sixth frame.

Taylor Guarino walked and went to third when Riggert reached on an error. Rogers followed with a single that scored Guarino and a throwing error on the play allowed Riggert to cross the plate. Two batters later, O’Donnell drove in her third run of the game when her groundout plated Rogers to make it 10-3.

A sacrifice fly by Steph Forest scored Lauren Donell in the sixth to cut the lead to six, but that would be the final run of the game. McEvoy worked a 1-2-3 seventh, getting a groundout to third for the final out to seal the deal and secure Groton-Dunstable’s first win of the season.

”We got some big hits at the right time and were able to manufacture some runs,” said Asadoorian. “Koed played a great game both offensively and defensively as did O’Donnell. This was a nice team effort and a good win.”

O’Donnell paced the Lady Crusaders offense with two singles, a run scored and three RBI. Koed (run scored and two RBI), Rogers (three runs and a RBI) and Riggert (three runs scored) each added a pair of singles. McEvoy picked up the win, allowing two earned runs on seven hits while walking none and striking out three.

Carlson led the Lady Panthers with a single, triple and two runs scored. Pires added two singles and run scored while Salka chipped in a double and a RBI. Megan got the loss, allowing five earned runs on 10 hits while walking four and striking out four.

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