NORTH CLARENDON — Green Mountain freshman softball pitcher Brie Howe-Lynch knew she had many more runs than she would need when the Chieftains built a 17-1 lead after two innings on the way to Monday’s 37-2 victory over Mill River.
She said she had no trouble concentrating or keeping her edge with the big lead.
“I just try to pitch my best all the time,” Howe-Lynch said.
Green Mountain coach Matt Wilson said the only time Howe-Lynch gets in trouble is when she shortens up her stride. He simply reminds her to adjust her mechanics.
No adjustments needed on Monday. She sailed through the five-inning game, limiting the Minutemen to four hits and striking out seven. She walked only two.
Walks were a major problem for the Minutemen. Green Mountain was gifted with 15 walks and a hit batsman.
The Chieftains made the walks hurt by hitting the ball hard.
Wilson was a little nervous when he first saw the slow speed of the Mill River pitchers. He knows that sometimes it is more difficult for batters to be patient enough to wait on the slow serves.
But his hitters showed the discipline they needed and sprayed 22 hits around the field.
Riley Paul led the hit parade by banging out four hits including two doubles. Hailey Pierce added three hits.
Alex Hutchins had a single, double and a triple, coming all the way around to score on the triple when an error was made in the outfield.
Chloe Ayer and Howe-Lynch each had two hits with a double and Abby Williams had a couple of hits.
The Chieftains came out running the bases aggressively but when Wilson saw that a mismatch was in the offing, he pulled back on the reins and Green Mountain stopped running early in the game.
Green Mountain improved to 2-3 and the Minutemen fell to 0-3.
The Minutemen have surrendered 124 runs over the three games and coach Mary Colvin knows it is all about getting her pitchers to throw strikes.
Skylar Coffman pitched the first inning but left with an injury. Alexis Secoy pitched the final four innings and got in a groove, keeping the Chieftains from scoring in the fourth.
Colvin said her pitchers did not put in the work indoors during the winter but she also pointed out there were extenuating circumstances.
“The campus was closed all that time so there is that piece of it,” Colvin said. “Could they have done it on their own? Yes. But they are young.”
Colvin was encouraged by Secoy’s improvement as she went along.
“We just have to try to learn something each day. This is a good group. These are good kids,” Colvin said.
Olivia Jones was a bright spot in the cleanup spot for the Minutemen with two hard hit singles.
“She has been hitting well and has given us great senior leadership,” Colvin said of Jones.
The Minutemen showed some life in the second when Jones and Molly Hier had back-to-back singles. Both were stung.
But Howe-Lynch was able to minimize the damage, striking out the last two batters of the inning.
Green Mountain is back in Rutland County on Tuesday for what will be a much sterner test. The Chieftains are at West Rutland.
“I am a little concerned about facing West Rutland’s pitching after batting against the pitching we saw today,” Wilson said.
That is a legitimate concern but Green Mountain showed on this day that it has the maturity to make adjustments.