By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – The Bristol Eastern softball team didn’t allow Northwest Catholic any daylight on opening day, Monday, April 1.
And opponents should expect more of the same in each and every encounter against the Lancers this season.
Eastern scored runs early and often as star chucker Erin Girard was given plenty of cushion on the mound, rolling Northwest 17-2 from the softball field on King Street in Bristol.
The mercy-rule ended the contest in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Girard threw all six innings, posting just two earned runs on six hits.
She tallied six strikeouts and walked just one over an excellent debut effort.
The Lancers drilled Lions’ pitching for 19 hits and several Eastern batters tallied multi-hit games.
Zoe Lowe went 4-for-5, which included two doubles and a triple, nearly hitting for the cycle in the process.
She also collected four runs, a stolen base, and an RBI.
And then Taylor Keegan went 3-for-4 with three runs, a walk, and added a double while teammate Paige McLaughlin came away with a 3-for-5 effort that saw the catcher nab a double, three runs and two RBI over a very busy first-game effort.
Several players generated two hits apiece as Lyzah Corliss (2-for-4, two runs) also smashed out a home run.
Girard (2-for-3, double, walk, 3 RBI) helped out her own cause with an outstanding day from the plate while Riley Giblin (2-for-4, run) had a multiple-hit outing as well, adding a double to the winning effort.
Alyssa Hackling and Lauren Aparo also joined the hit-parade.
Hackling went 1-for-3 with a run scored while Aparo was also 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.
Kaylee Kurpaska came off the Eastern bench for a hit, scoring a run over the winning endeavor.
With the victory, Eastern coach Scott Redman’s squad moved to a perfect 3-0 all-time ledger against Northwest.
The Lancers zipped up three runs in the first inning and added three more in the second to post the home team to a 6-0 edge through two completed frames.
Eastern nabbed two additional runs in the bottom of the third and when the top of the fourth came rolling around, the Lions trailed 8-0 and had some work to do.
Northwest added two runs in the top of the fourth inning but the Lancers nearly closed the door on the game in the bottom of the tilt.
An eight-run fourth by Eastern put the outfit ahead 15-2 and that score carried into the sixth stanza when the Lancers closed the event out.
Northwest gave up two runs in the sixth – ending play via the 15-run mercy-rule – as Eastern racked up a 17-2 win to open Central Connecticut Conference crossover play in style.
And it was more of the same the following Wednesday as the Lancers crushed Plainville 23-3 in a five-inning affair from Tinty Field in Plainville.
An 11-run first inning took any suspense out of the game.
Twenty-six hits fueled the afternoon for the Lancers while pitching and defense did all the rest.
Girard needed just three innings to wrap up eight Ks, one hit and no walks – all while facing only 11 batters.
Freshmen Ali Tellier saw her first ever scholastic time on the mound, striking out five and allowing just two hits over two innings of action.
And then from the plate, six Eastern batters collected three hits as the offense hassled Plainville pitcher Mackenzie Alvarado – and the defense – from start to finish.
Keegan was 3-of-4 with three runs, a double, and two RBI; Corliss scooped up three hits, two runs, two doubles, and three RBI, and the crafty McLaughlin went 3-for-5 with three runs scored.
Also generating three hits were Lowe (3-of-4, three runs, two doubles, three RBI); Hackling (3-for-5, two runs, double, two RBI); and Aparo (3-of-4, two doubles, three runs).
Nabbing two hits apiece were Girard (2-for-4, double, RBI); Giblin (2-for-4, two runs scored), and Tellier (2-for-5, two runs, triple, four RBI).
Off the pine, Jasmine Perez was 1-for-1 with a run scored while Sophia Bouchard, who pinch ran for Girard, showed a little speed on the bases and ended up 1-for-1 with two runs scored and an RBI.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Michael Letendre, email him at MLetendre@BristolObserver.com.