By RUSSELL JONES
The Phantoms’ softball team always chants “Hits, hits, hits and runs” before they break their huddle to go to the plate every inning, and on Saturday that’s exactly what they delivered.
The Proctor team scored early and often in a 24-1 victory over Arlington this past weekend, racking up 12 runs in the first inning.
“We did pretty good at the plate,” coach Abby Bennett said. “Although, I think we could have done better.”
Sophomore Madie Lee and junior Allie Almond both had four hits to lead their squad in the decisive win. More impressive, however, was the way the team played defensively.
“Defense is what we work on most in practice,” Bennett said. “That’s our main focus.”
The infield’s constant chatter among themselves ensured they always knew where the ball should go before the play. They scooped up hard-hit ground balls and turned double plays with ease.
In the second inning, sophomore shortstop Rachel Stuhlmueller snagged a ground ball while looking the runner on second back to the bag. After Stuhlmueller fired to Lee at first to gun the batter down, Lee threw to third to nail the runner from second for an inning-ending double play.
“That long look,” Bennett told Stuhlmueller after the play, “that’s what made that play possible.”
After the 12-run first inning, Proctor scored four in the second, two in the third, and six in the fourth to break the 20-run mercy rule before the fifth inning.
Junior Amanda Reynolds was on the mound and pitched a complete game, allowing only one run in the five innings. She struck out six in the game.
“It was a good game for her,” Bennett said. “She’s struggled some this season, but she’s got all the skills. For her it’s a mental thing.”
With the win, Proctor’s record moved to 7-2 on the season before a game against Poultney on Monday, who they beat 20-4 on May 9.
In Monday’s game, the Phantom offense picked up where they left off on Saturday as they defeated the Poultney Blue Devils by a score of 28-7.
Lyndsey Elms picked up the win and knocked three hits of her own. Madie Lee continued to look impressive with three hits as well. Now 8-2, the Phantoms are in third place in Div. IV rankings behind only West Rutland, who they lost to by a score of 9-17, and Green Mountain, who beat them 10-23. They will look to avenge that loss and move into second place when they face Green Mountain at home on Wednesday, May 15, at 4:30 p.m.