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LINCOLN â€” Regarding the defending state championship unit he oversees, Lincoln High head coach Dick Ryan has very few reasons to feel nervous.
Even on a day that saw senior pitching standout Lindsay Mayer demonstrate that she is human after all, the Lions were still able to outclass the opposition in every conceivable sense. Lincoln was supplied by plenty of offensive fireworks and a stout defense that was on full display during the fifth inning of Wednesdayâ€™s game when centerfielder Adriana Toro unleashed a cannon of a throw to nail a Smithfield baserunner at third base.
Lincoln also did what any defending champ is supposed to do when the competition becomes frivolous with the glove. The Sentinels committed two costly errors in the bottom of the sixth, the second miscue resulting in the final two runs the Lions would need to nail down a 10-0 â€śmercy-ruleâ€ť triumph at Saylesville Elementary Schoolâ€™s Sullivan Field.
For those keeping track, Lincoln has now won 25 straight games dating back to last seasonâ€™s run to the top of the Division I mountain. The teamâ€™s latest triumph is the third of the spring. With no games on tap until next Tuesdayâ€™s date at Mount St. Charles, the Lions have a little time to reflect on whatâ€™s been accomplished to date before chartering their next course.
â€śI think we know how to win. Weâ€™ve got an experienced team and a lot of good players,â€ť Ryan pointed out. â€śIt says something about Lindsay that she can come out and throw a shutout when she doesnâ€™t have her best day.â€ť
In a turn of events, Mayerâ€™s mound prowess took a back seat. Most pitchers across the state would gladly take tossing a two-hitter that features four strikeouts and two walks. That shows how high of a bar this University of Virginia-bound youngster has set.
Taking a page from an actress upon receiving an Oscar, Mayer made sure to denote the importance of a key group. â€śMy defense really helped me a lot. Adriana made such a great throw; thatâ€™s so typical of her.â€ť
Lincolnâ€™s offense wasted little time in staking its pitcher to a comfortable lead. With two runners aboard in the first inning, Mayer came up and swatted a three-run home run. Cleanup hitter Emily Bouthillette made it back-to-back blasts with a solo shot that upped the lead to 4-0.
The first four batters in Ryanâ€™s lineup â€“ Casie Beauchemin, Toro, Mayer and Bouthillette â€“ combined to score nine of Lincolnâ€™s 10 runs and amass nine of the teamâ€™s 14 hits. Bouthillette, Beauchemin and Toro each clubbed two hits while Mayer finished 3-for-4.
â€śWeâ€™re just looking for the first good pitch that we see and trying to hit it as hard as we can,â€ť said Mayer about the potency of Lincolnâ€™s first four hitters.
Mayer just missed out on a second home run in the fifth inning before coming around to score on a Bouthillette hit. Sophomore Stacy Mayer jumped into the act with a two-run double that made it 7-0 after five innings.
The Lions put the Sentinels (0-4, Division I) down for good in the sixth. One run came as a result of a deep drive by Bouthillette that bounced off the leftfielderâ€™s glove. A hot smash by Lauren Hervieux was mishandled by the shortstop, resulting in the contestâ€™s final two runs.
â€śThree shutouts in three games, you canâ€™t ask for more than that,â€ť smiled Ryan. â€śI like the team. Weâ€™ve got a good bunch of kids. Even in practice when we say itâ€™s time to pick it up, they pick it up.â€ť