SPRINGFIELD — Springfield’s Hannah Crosby gave up hits to the first two Leland & Gray batters then pitched no-hit ball the rest of the game as the Cosmos rolled to a 15-0 softball win Wednesday at Bill Robinson Field.
Crosby, a fire-balling right-hander, fanned 13 with just two walks as Springfield moved to 2-0. It was the season opener for Leland & Gray, which was missing four players away on school vacation.
“We had a lot of people playing new positions,” said Rebels coach Tammy Clausen, who knows that her team will not face much tougher hurling than Crosby.
“As the game went along, I just asked my players to do the best they could to put the ball in play,” said Clausen. “I think we did that.”
Clausen has had great success at Leland & Gray, bringing her team to the Division III championship games in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
It’s been an impressive start for the Cosmos, who opened the season with a 4-3 win over Mount Anthony, a team that has been to the Division I final three straight seasons. That was duly noted by Springfield coach Andy Bladyka, who rattled off two lopsided defeats to the Patriots before his Cosmos came through this year.
“And it was a great game,” he said of the one-run victory.
Wednesday’s game was pretty much over early as Springfield scored eight runs in the first inning. The game got to 15-0 in the sixth when it was stopped by the mercy rule.
While Leland & Gray came out on the short end of the score, the Rebels had two top defensive plays as third baseman Emma Brooks went into foul territory to stab a liner with her backhand and shortstop Sarah Anderson started a double play by spearing a liner off the bat of Mykah White and firing a bullet to first to double off the runner.
Clausen said several of her players were new and they expressed nervousness faced with playing against a pitcher who has been on the mound since she was a freshman. The nervousness showed early as the Rebels committed four errors in the first inning, allowing Springfield eight runs on just four hits.
Springfield had 13 hits including three out of the No. 9 spot in the order as Kayla Gibbons had two and Jesse White one. Crosby also had a day at the plate with three singles. Julianna Albero-Levings chipped in with two singles.
Leland & Gray started the game with Anderson singling up the middle and Abby Lowe reaching on a bunt single. Crosby then struck out the side and followed that with four consecutive strikeouts.
Lowe pitched the first five innings for the Rebels.
Both teams go on the road Friday with Springfield at Windsor and Leland & Gray at Bellows Falls.