2017-05-10 / Sports

Dragons get back into action

Brunswick HS softball plays first game in 11 days
BY BOB CONN
The Times Record

BRUNSWICK

It had been 11 long, rainy days since the Brunswick High School softball team played a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference game, with the team either working inside the gymnasium or finding time between the raindrops to get in some throws outdoors.

On Tuesday, the Dragons hosted Camden Hills for their fourth game of 16 scheduled contests, and, after a rough start, battled hard in a close 6-5 setback.

The Windjammers left with a 2-3 mark, while Brunswick fell to 0-4 and hosts Lewiston today at 4 p.m.

Through three games prior to Tuesday, Brunswick showed an ability to compete in losses to Hampden Academy, Mt. Ararat and Bangor. That same mentality continued against the Windjammers, who held leads of 3-1, 4-2 and 6-4 before holding off a rally from the home team in the seventh inning.

“I believe we can play with any team,” said Brunswick coach Hugh Dwyer. “We have eight seniors, and they have a lot of character. No other team has been through what they have been through the last four years. They use that as a strength. We didn’t feel like we were going to do something wrong. We made some plays. There were some nice things out there today.”

Shea Sullivan was a standout for Brunswick. At the plate, she went 2-for-3 with a home run, double, three RBIs and a run scored. On the mound, Sullivan struck out six, didn’t walk a hitter and permitted nine hits. Of the six Camden runs, only three were earned.

“Shea pitched a heck of a game, and their pitcher (Emily Long) only walked one,” Dwyer said. “We have depth in our pitching, with four girls that can throw. In the past if we had to replace Shea, we would be in trouble.”

Tough start

Brunswick showed some rustiness in the field, committing three throwing errors in the opening frame, leading to two Windjammer runs. Nicole Brown opened the game by slicing a double to the gap in left-center field. Three straight Dragon errors followed, with Brown and Laticia Billings scoring.

“We were a little bit rusty, but it was nice to be playing again,” said Sullivan, who escaped further damage with an inning-ending strikeout.

“We have those early defensive woes, which identifies us right now. We are trying to wash those away,” said Dwyer.

Brunswick answered in its first swings of the afternoon. Shelby Plourde doubled with one out and scored on a single to center field by Ketty Stinson.

The Dragons committed their fourth defensive miscue in the second, with Alyson Glasier reaching on a dropped fly ball and eventually scoring on a fielder’s choice by Brown.

But, Brunswick was solid the rest of the way, with just one error coming in the seventh.

“We started making some plays and realized that we could compete,” Sullivan said.

Brunswick racked up the hits. Sullivan’s home run in the third inning just cleared the left-center field fence to draw the Dragons to 3-2. In the fifth, trailing 4-2, the top of the Brunswick lineup came through. Allie Eck and Plourde singled, with Camden’s only error allowing Eck to score. A sacrifice fly by Sullivan tied the game moments later.

“Against Bangor (an 8-1 loss), we had 12 hits and showed an ability to hit,” said Dwyer. “We know that we have a solid offense.”

The Windjammers quickly broke the deadlock in the sixth. With Payton Wiley on first base, Brown (2-for-4, two runs scored, RBI) hit a liner off of Sullivan, with the carom allowing Brown to hustle all the way to second and Wiley to third. Billings, who was 3-for-4, delivered both runs with a two-run single to right field for a 6-4 Camden Hills advantage.

Camden again threatened in the seventh. With two runners on, Eck ran down a fly ball in right field off the bat of Wiley to keep the Dragons two behind.

Dwyer went to his bench, with Morgan Plourde doubling. Nicole Pelletier came in to run and scored on a two-out double by Sullivan. But, Long retired the final Brunswick hitter on an infield pop up to close out the 6-5 Windjammers victory.

Shelby Plourde was 2-for-4 with two runs scored for Brunswick, while Stinson added a pair of hits.

Long struck out two and walked one for the mound win. Brown, Billings and Glasier each scored two runs.

Brunswick, after hosting Lewiston today, visits Mt. Blue on Friday and hosts Skowhegan on Saturday. Another five games follows next week as the Dragons, and just about everyone else in Maine, try to get their games in.

Camden Hills 6, Brunswick 5

At Brunswick

Camden 210 012 0 — 6- 9-1
Brunswick — 101 020 1 5-11-5

Emily Long and Nicole Brown; Shea Sullivan and Ketty Stinson. WP — Long; LP — Sullivan. Doubles — (CH) Nicole Brown 2, Lauren Brown; (B) Shelby Ploude, Ketty Stinson, Morgan Plourde, Shea Sullivan. Home run — (B) Shea Sullivan. Repeat hitters — (CH) Laticia Billings (3), Nicole Brown; (B) Shelby Plourde, Ketty Stinson, Shea Sullivan. Records — Camden 2-3; Brunswick 0-4. Up next for the Dragons — Today at home vs. Lewiston, 4 p.m.

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