BY GENE DELORENZO
FAIR HAVEN — The Otter Valley softball express continued its run through central Vermont with a resounding 21-6 rout of Fair Haven on Saturday morning, May 29, at the Slater’s home field.
The game began on a beautiful, sunny morning as the Slater’s honored their seniors. By the end, the rain was pouring down and the runs were cascading in like cats and dogs.
Held scoreless for two innings, the Otters took a 4-2 lead in the third inning and then broke the game wide open with seven more runs in the top of the fourth. They would add 10 more runs combined in the sixth and seventh innings. Hitting was to all parts of the field as the Otters pounded out 13 hits and received 13 walks and two hit batters.
The usual stars carried the load as leadoff hitter Ryleigh LaPorte had two singles and three RBIs, pitcher Riley Keith had two singles, shortstop Sydney Gallo was 4 for 5 with an RBI, Alice Keith had two hits, Grace O’Connell had a booming two-run triple, and MacKenzie McKay had a single and an RBI.
Riley Keith pitched the complete game and scattered the runs for the Slaters well on just eight hits. Keith avoided major problems by walking only four – including two that were intentional with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. She has progressed greatly with her control since her first start of the year versus Mt. Abraham and will almost certainly be a force to be dealt with by a first-round opponent in the playoffs. On Saturday, she allowed only three earned runs.
OV’s batting order is strong from top to bottom and the defense is very capable. The Otters finish their regular season at 10-6. They will host U-32 at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1 in Brandon. U-32 started 0-4, but has won 5 of their last 6 and pounded Williamstown 19-5 in their last game.