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GROTON – After a four-game stretch in which they could muster only five runs, the Groton-Dunstable softball team’s bats came alive. The Lady Crusaders followed up a 9-3 win over Fitchburg on Wednesday by dominating North Middlesex to claim a 12-0 victory in five innings on Friday afternoon.

“We came out today and took care of business which was good to see,” said Groton-Dunstable coach Derek Asadoorian. “Our defense was solid; we got quality pitching and came up with some big hits. It was the type of game we need to play in order to be successful.”

The Lady Crusaders pushed across the only runs they needed in the home-half of the first. Celina Antonellis started things off by reaching on an error, stealing second and taking third on a Jen Johnson bunt single. Annika Liljegren then delivered a single to left to plate Antonellis with the game’s first run. Alyssa Ash drew a walk to load the bases, and with one out Rose O’Malley picked up a free-pass and brought home Johnson to give Groton-Dunstable a 2-0 lead. Lady Patriots’ starter Hannah Lawrence limited the damage by getting a pop-out and strike out to leave the bases juiced.

A popped up bunt led to a double play to help the Lady Crusaders escaped a jam in the second, and they added another run in the bottom of the frame. With two outs, Johnson singled, stole second and scored when Liljegren reached on an error, pushing the advantage to 3-0.

Ash continued her solid work on the mound for Groton-Dunstable working a 1-2-3 third, and she picked up seven runs of support from her offense. The key to the inning was two walks, an RBI single from Laura Bieren, an error, and a sacrifice fly from Erin Olson. Despite recording only two hits, the Lady Crusaders extended their lead out to 10-0.

North Middlesex saw their best scoring threat go by the boards in the fourth. With one out, Julia Murray drew a full-count walk before stealing second. A groundout moved Murray to third, but Ash stranded her there,recording a pop out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the inning, Bieren drew a one-out walk, took second on a passed ball, third on an error and scored on a wild pitch. Groton-Dunstable closed the scoring and sealed the win with another run in the fifth. Ash singled with one-out and was replaced by courtesy runner Maddy Bugbee, who swiped second on a wild pitch. With two outs, O’Malley blooped a single to right, scoring Bugbee to end the game.”We got some quality days at the plate today,” said Asadoorian. “Jen did a nice job of getting on, Alyssa hit the ball hard and Celina got things going offensively. We did a lot of things right today and put together a full effort.”

Ash had a double, single and walk at the plate while picking up the win, allowing one hit,two walks while striking out three. Johnson had two singles, three stolen bases and three runs scored. Antonellis had a single, stolen base and two runs scored.

Bieren finished with a single, walk, stolen base, two runs scored and an RBI.

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