GM girls thump Leland & Gray 15-0


By Evan Chadwick
© Telegraph Publishing LLC


The unpredictability of high school softball can make each contest a big question mark as teams gear up for the Vermont Principals Association playoffs that are just weeks away. Green Mountain skipper, Matt Wilson, is no stranger to the ups and downs that come with the spring season, as his girls certainly have experienced them all.

However, on a pleasant Tuesday night in Townshend, Wilson’s squad put it all together, playing errorless softball on their way to a resounding 15-0 victory over Leland & Gray.

“That was a lot of fun,” said Wilson. “Leland & Gray is always a big rivalry for us. For the girls to go to their place and play a game with no errors is huge.”

GM warmed up the bats early, taking a 1-0 lead on an RBI single from Abby Williams, that brought home pitcher Brie Howe-Lynch who drew a walk and then moved over to second on a single from Riley Paul.

Green Mountain’s ace, Howe-Lynch preserved the narrow margin early, retiring five of the first six batters she faced. Howe-Lynch was not overpowering, but instead mixed a rising fast ball and her change-up to keep the Rebel bats off the ball and allow her defense to go to work for her.

“We are competitive in every game when we limit the errors,” said Wilson, who commented that last time they faced the Rebels, they lost the contest late on several errors, which allowed Leland & Gray to stretch a narrow lead into a 15-1 victory.

The Chieftains doubled their advantage in the top of the third when Williams, who had singled with two outs in the inning, scored on a throwing error.

Howe-Lynch worked out of jams in the third and fourth innings with the help of Chieftain defensive plays. That included a fantastic catch by shortstop Riley Paul, who robbed the Rebels of a hit that looked destined for the left-center gap.

The Chieftains added a third run when Rebecca Ortego dropped one into right field to score Chloe Ayer, who had ripped a wall ball double with one out in the fourth inning to start the threat.

Howe-Lynch again worked a perfect fifth, battling back from behind in the count to get a ground out that she fielded, firing a strike to first that kept the Rebels off the board.

If there was any doubt as to the outcome in this contest, Coach Wilson’s squad left none in the sixth inning, erupting for 12 runs with a mixture of crafty base-running and outright power.

First baseman and speedster, Kim Cumming wowed the crowd on a designed delay steal of home where she baited the Rebel catcher into throwing to third and then used a hook slide to get in just under the tag.

“We had practiced that play all week,” said Wilson. “We saw the opportunity to give it a try and Kim made it happen.”

Almost on cue, Abby Williams, who had hit the ball hard all day delivered the final blow, a moonshot to straight away center field that easily cleared the fence and sent the Green Mountain bench out of the dugout to welcome their slugger as she crossed the plate to score GM’s 15th run of the contest.

“We really lucked out with Abby being cleared to play today,” said Wilson, who noted that the Chieftain catcher had been battling an ankle injury.

The win draws the Chieftains to 6-6 on the season and right in the mix for a top eight seed in the upcoming Division Three softball playoffs. A recent look at the VPA standings shows that the Chieftains may still have some opportunities to climb even higher, with a coveted top four seed not out of the question with three games left on the schedule.

Green Mountain travels to South Royalton tonight for a 4:30 p.m. matchup with the Wildcats and then are at home for senior day on Thursday, May 26th when they host West Rutland at 4:30 p.m.


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Filed Under: Education NewsFeaturedSoftballSports News

About the Author: Originally from Rochester, Vermont, Evan Chadwick is a practicing attorney who lives in Brattleboro with his family. He is a 2007 graduate of Keene State College and currently coaches the boys' varsity basketball team at Bellows Falls Union High School.

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