Bobcats rip Raiders in season opener


Sandhu and Johnston combine to throw no-hitter for Plymouth softball


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by Joshua Spaulding
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Sports Editor - Salmon Press Newspapers

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Tristan Keller races toward third base during her team's game against Lebanon on April 12. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
April 17, 2017
PLYMOUTH — For starters, it wasn't too bad.

The Plymouth softball team, after just one day out on the field, dominated Lebanon on Wednesday, April 12, running away with a 15-0 win in the season opener at Chase Field at D and M Park.

Senior Jevan Sandhu and freshman Kacie Johnston combined to no-hit the Raiders on the afternoon.

"It was good for us to get out and see competition," said Plymouth coach Brian Blanchard. "I was very happy with the beginning."

Sandhu got the start in the circle for the Bobcats and struck out two in the first inning. Plymouth got her a couple of runs in the bottom of the inning. Jordan Meier led off with a bunt hit and stole second. She went to third on a Jackie Gaumer base hit and Gaumer also stole second. Two outs later, Emily Boyd reached on an error and both runners scored. Sandhu followed with a base hit but courtesy runner Emma Campbell, after stealing second, was stranded.

Sandhu struck out two more Lebanon hitters in the second inning, working around a walk and the bats really came to life in the bottom of the second for Plymouth.

Emma Cooper led off with a walk and a Grace Comeau base hit put runners on the corners. A sacrifice fly by Meier plated Cooper and after a strikeout, Tristan Keller ripped a triple to drive in another run. Johnston followed with a base hit to plate Keller and a Boyd base hit drove in another run. A Sandhu double plated one more run and a hit from Taylor Eaton made it 8-0 before the inning was over.

Sandhu dominated in the third as well, striking out three in the frame, working around a Bobcat error. Comeau and Keller had base hits in the bottom of the inning but Plymouth did not add any runs to the scoreboard.

After Sandhu struck out the leadoff batter in the top of the fourth, Johnston took over on the hill and promptly made a great play on a bunt in front of the plate and recorded her first varsity strikeout to end the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Boyd led off with a base hit and one out later, Eaton walked and Cooper doubled Boyd home for a 9-0 lead. A Comeau base hit plated another run and one out later, Gaumer ripped a triple to drive in two more runs for a 12-0 lead. Keller then drove Gaumer home with a double and after Jenna Flaherty worked a walk, Boyd had her second hit of the inning. Sandhu reached on an error to drive in another run and then Molly Edmark reached on a fielder's choice, allowing the 15th run to cross the plate.

Johnston walked the leadoff batter in the top of the fifth inning but then got a grounder back to the circle to force the runner at second. She then got a strikeout and a grounder to second to close out the 15-0 win.

Blanchard praised the work of his two pitchers, who combined to keep Lebanon from reaching base and didn't allow a single hit while striking out 10.

"I thought Jevan threw the ball very well," Blanchard said. "They both did a good job for us.

"And I was very impressed with our freshman catcher (Flaherty)," the Bobcat coach added.

Blanchard noted that key for the game was adjusting to the relatively slow pitching of Lebanon.

"It looks like you can drive it a mile, but you can't really do that," Blanchard said. "Once we adapted to that pitching, we were OK."

He pointed out it will be important to adjust to different pitchers throughout the season, depending on who the Bobcats are facing.

Plymouth hit the road on Friday, April 14, and defeated a strong Pembroke team by a 4-3 score.

The Bobcats scored a run in the first, as Keller doubled with two outs and was driven in by a Johnston base hit. In the third, Meier cracked a solo homer to make it 2-0 before the Spartans added a run in the bottom of the inning. The Bobcats added a run in the fifth on singles by Comeau and Meier for a 3-1 lead.

The Spartans tied the game at three with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning but Plymouth came back and added a run in the top of the seventh inning. Comeau singled and Meier doubled her in for the winning run.

Sandhu went the distance in the circle, striking out five and giving up just four hits. Blanchard noted Flaherty behind the plate and Boyd at shortstop were the defensive players of the game.

The Bobcats will be in action on Monday, April 24 at Goffstown at 4:30 p.m. and will host John Stark at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or sportsgsn@salmonpress.com.

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