Eagles tally a very big win over Knights

BRISTOL — Mount Abraham Union High School sophomore softball pitcher Audrey Shahan might never enjoy an easier pitching win in her career.
Certainly Shahan did her part on Thursday vs. visiting Rice, allowing four hits and just one first-inning unearned run while striking out six Green Knights in her five-inning stint.
But Shahan hardly needed to be that sharp. The Eagles used 23 hits (including three homers), 12 walks, 11 stolen bases, eight wild pitches and nine Rice errors to win, 32-1, and improve to 2-0 with the five-inning victory.
The Eagles scored 16 times in the fourth, making one out when the Rice coach alleged a batter went out of order and the Eagle coaches didn’t dispute it. Mount Abe recorded the final out when Coach Kelly Trayah mercifully ordered a baserunner to illegally step off third base.
Afterward, Trayah talked instead about the Division II Eagles’ game earlier in the week, an encouraging 15-6 victory at D-I Mount Mansfield.
“That was a great win. We actually played really well, hit the ball really well and played great defense,” Trayah said.
On Thursday, the Eagles knocked the ball all over the yard against losing pitcher Bi Krech and reliever Rachel Chicoine, and Rice fielders at times had trouble handling balls hit within their reach.
Mount Abe scored two in the first, with Dani Forand stroking an RBI single, and probably would have had more if a baserunner had not made an illegal move with the ball in the pitching circle. They scored eight in the second, an inning highlighted by back-to-back homers by Katelyn Ouellette and Brooke Perlee, with Ouellette’s a three-run shot. Forand added an RBI triple in the inning.
In the third, they tacked on six more, with Stacie Sabourin’s three-run homer capping the rally and making it 16-1. 
Then came the 16-run fourth, a nightmare for the Knights and a delight for the Eagle subs who chipped in with hits. In all, the Eagles ripped 14 hits in the inning and kept scoring despite orders not to take extra bases and to stop stealing.
In that inning alone, pinchhitter and JV call-up Savannah Early poked three hits, scored twice and drove in a run; Ouellette, pinchhitters Brittany Sheeran and Ruby Ball (another JV call-up), and Shahan had two hits each; and pinchhitter Genysis Berube singled and walked and scored twice.
When the dust settled, several Eagle starters had padded their stats nicely.
• Ouellette finished with three hits, four runs and five RBIs.
• Perlee homered, singled, walked and scored twice.
• Rachael McCormick, who played center field on Thursday but is the team’s No. 1 pitcher, singled twice, drove in a run and scored three times.
• Forand finished with five hits, four RBIs and four runs.
• Shahan poked two hits, walked twice, scored four runs and drove in three.
• Sabourin homered, singled, walked twice, scored three runs and drove in four.
Trayah acknowledged Burlington and especially Essex would provide tougher tests next week, but said the Eagles also played good teams in scrimmages and in a trip to Florida that served, like the Mount Mansfield game, as better measuring sticks than Thursday’s mismatch.
He believes the Eagles will more than hold their own this spring, especially in D-II. His lone concern is an outfield that is less experienced than his veteran infield, especially given that there is no fence at Mount Abe to back up his outfielders if a ball gets behind them. 
“As long as we don’t beat ourselves defensively, we’ll be fine,” Trayah said. “Our outfield is what we’re working on, dropping to a knee and not letting it get into this huge outfield. That’s where it’s going to be key, that outfield continuing to grow. The infield is actually pretty seasoned.”
He also noted that contributors Jenna McArdle, Emma LaRose and Jasmine Gile were off on a trip last week, when the Eagles won twice — Trayah said the Eagles have depth.
“I think we’re deeper this year,” Trayah said. “We’ve actually got a couple of girls who are not starters who can swing the bat. There are a couple girls who are not here, who are still in Europe, who will see some innings.”

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