Relentless MAU offense dominates in opener

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BENNINGTON — Friday marked the season-opener for the defending Division I champion Mount Anthony softball team after a pair of weather postponements and the Patriots were champing at the bit to get going.

Leading off the game, Kaity O'Brien blasted a double on the first pitch of the year and the Patriots didn't stop hitting until finishing off a 15-0 win over Springfield that was ended in the fifth inning by the run rule.

"They don't care what the score it or how many outs there are," said MAU coach Katie Contrada. "Each girl is going up feeling like they are going to put the ball in play. When you're having a good time, it's a lot easier to get in there and start hitting the ball.

Mount Anthony scored multiple runs in four of the five innings, including three in the first, two in the second and seven in the third as the Patriots batted around.

"We were excited to play and excited to shake the dust off and get things rolling for the season," Contrada said. "We can see what we have to work on, see where our strengths are. It was fun to come out and see what they could do in the first outing."

Emilie O'Brien scored three runs and went 2-for-2 with a double and single, while Kaity O'Brien scored twice, as did Kaidin Gauthier, Cat Worthington, Jamie Boyle and Keana Gauthier.

"Any given day, anyone on our team can be a huge hitter," Contrada said. "They are a fun team to watch at the plate."

The big inning was the third as MAU took advantage of some sloppiness from the Cosmos. Keana Gauthier hit a single with one out before Kaity O'Brien walked. Kaidin Gauthier reached on an error before Worthington walked. A pair of wild pitches brought home runs as did a fielder's choice from Jamie Boyle. Taylor Dicranian reached on a dropped third strike and scored on a hit by Erin Farrell.

It took the lead from 5-0 to 12-0 after three innings.

"We talked to our team about making every moment count whether we were inside or outside," Contrada said. "We need to work hard at every drill so when the time came for games, we know what's going on. They're gamers, they're students of the game."

MAU finished the game with three more runs in the bottom of the fifth, Kaity O'Brien, Kaidin Gauthier each had singles and Worthington drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk for the 15-0 victory.

Dicranian pitched the first four innings for the Patriots, allowing no runs, no hits and only two walks. She struck out six. Emilie O'Brien pitched the fifth, allowing a basehit to Mykahla Jasinski but striking out the side.

"Emilie got a chance to pitch [the last inning] and she looked great," Contrada said. "Taylor is a tough act to follow. Emilie was composed and finished out the game."

Mount Anthony has a tough schedule right out of the gate, with Taconic on tap for Saturday, then Wahconah on Tuesday and Brattleboro on Thursday, all at home.


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