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Lisbon softball outlasts Lin-Wood in high scoring affair

by Corey McKean
Sports reporter - The Littleton Courier

Eva LeClair records her first strikeout of the game to start the first inning. Corey McKean. (click for larger version)
April 17, 2017
LINCOLN — The Lisbon Lady Panthers took an early 5-1 lead through two innings over the Lin-Wood Lumberjacks and ran with it on Thursday, April 13, as the Panthers went on to earn a 12-6 victory. Lisbon starting pitcher Eva LeClair had a strong day in the circle, as she recorded six strikeouts while allowing just two hits, in four innings of work while the Lumberjacks battled throughout the game

The Panther offense came out and started the game hot as LeClair drew a walk while Elena Veilleux smashed a triple to right center field, which scored LeClair. Laura Superchi then hit a blooper single over the second baseman's head, scoring Veilleux and giving Lisbon an early 2-0 lead.

LeClair found her strike zone from the get go as she recorded three strikeouts in the first inning while allowing just one walk to Lin-Wood's Brianna Chase to keep the Lumberjacks scoreless.

Lisbon continued to score in the second inning as Chloe Houston, LeClair and Veilleux all drew walks while Jenna Myers drew another walk, which brought Houston in to score. A single by Rebecca Stockley would also bring LeClair and Veilleux around to score, pushing the Panthers ahead 5-0.

The Lumberjacks eventually found their bats in the second as Lucy Loukes started the inning off with a single. She stole second and advanced to third on a groundout by Abbie Rich. A fielder's choice RBI by Andrine Winge brought Loukes into score, bringing the score to 5-1 Lisbon, heading into the third inning.

A scoreless third by the Panthers opened up the door for Lin-Wood to get back into the game and they did just that as Brianna Chase and Maddy Chase both reached base off walks while Blake Drouin also drew a walk to load the bases. A fielder's choice by Loukes scored Brianna Chase while Maddy Chase raced home on a passed ball, making the score 5-3 Lisbon going into the fourth inning.

With two early outs to start the fourth, it wasn't looking good for Lisbon but the Panthers rallied to score four runs with the big hit coming from Stockley, as she nailed a triple to left center field to extend Lisbon's lead to 9-3. LeClair would be lights out in the fourth, recording two strikeouts while forcing a pop out to keep Lin-Wood from scoring.

A scoreless fifth inning by the Panthers brought the Lumberjack offense back up quickly where they continued to battle, scoring two runs off hits from Maddy McDonald, Brianna Chase and Drouin to bring the score to 9-5 heading into the sixth inning.

Lisbon would add three insurance runs in the sixth as Siobhan Smith hit a double, Houston walked and Veilluex hit a two-RBI single to score both Smith and Houston. Veilleux would eventually come around to score off a passed ball, putting the Panthers ahead 12-5.

Another hit from Brianna Chase started the offense for Lin-Wood in the sixth and Chase came around to score off a stolen base, a pair of walks and a fly ball, bringing the score to 12-6, but it wouldn't be enough as both teams went scoreless in the seventh and Lisbon took the victory.

"The girls played very hard but it showed that it was only our first game and that we had only been outside twice. The girls never stopped battling and took home a nice win," said Lisbon coach Arthur Boutin.

"We started our freshman pitcher, Delaney Pickering, who we believe to be the future for Lin-Wood. She struggled in her first outing, giving up five runs, which put us back early but senior Abbie Sawyer came in the middle of the second inning and struck out seven for the remainder of the game," explained Lin-Wood coach Andy Kilmer.

"Bri Chase was aggressive on the bases, stealing four bases while our hitting was better tonight but not where we plan on being moving forward. We have a few defensive issues to clean up but we are a lot more solid defensively and pitching wise this year then we have been in the past," Kilmer added.

The Panthers were led by Myers with two hits and three RBIs while the Lumberjacks were led by Brianna Chase with two hits and three runs scored.

Lisbon improves to a record of 1-0 on the season while Lin-Wood falls to a record of 0-1. The Panthers will play again on Wednesday, April 19, as they host the Littleton Crusaders. Game time is posted for 4 p.m. The Lumberjacks will play again on Wednesday, April 19, as they host Pittsburg-Canaan. Game time is posted for 4:30 p.m.

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