EAST PROVIDENCE -- Immediately after the loss, and the post-game handshakes, head coach Rob Traverse followed his East Providence High squadron out to right field and spent at least 10 minutes talking with them.
Once finished, he not only described how he felt about his Townies’ suffering a 10-0 Division I crossover defeat to still-unbeaten Lincoln High at Pierce Field on blustery Friday afternoon, but also gave his take on Lindsay Mayer, the Lions’ premier junior righthander.
“That’s the best team we’ve seen, no question,” Traverse stated. “If they’re not the favorite for the (D-I) state championship, then I don’t know who is. I was very, very impressed by them. They came in business-like, knew what they wanted to accomplish and succeeded in all phases.”
He then addressed the subject of Mayer, who from the pitching rubber whirled a two-hitter with three walks and a whopping 15 strikeouts. Offensively? All she did was go 2-for-2 with a double, two RBI and three runs scored.
“She isn’t truly overpowering, but she moves (her pitches) in and out well, and she continually kept our girls guessing,” he said. “You know, I was more impressed with how she hit the ball. On that double, she turned the wind around, she hit it so hard.
“Then again, their lineup – one through nine – struck the ball extremely well.”
Actually, Mayer’s two-hitter should’ve been categorized as a one-hitter. With one out in the fifth, freshman Brianna Allienello popped a ball far above senior catcher Allie Dzialo’s head, in fair territory. Mayer came in to field it, but she and her batterymate just looked at each other as the ball fell to the dirt, seemingly in the batter’s box.
The home-plate umpire pointed at the ground, indicating the fly fair, and the hit stood.
EP’s other came off the bat of senior clean-up hitter Amanda Horton, who reached on a bloop single over senior third baseman Sarah Albanese’s head with one down in the sixth.
The game ended after the Townies failed to score in that frame due to the Rhode Island Interscholastic League’s 10-run “mercy rule.” When it did, the Lions celebrated their move to 7-0 overall and in divisional action.
EP fell to 3-7.
“I thought Lindsay was on, really on,” offered first-year head coach Dick Ryan. “She hit her spots, located the ball well; then again, she’s been pitching great all year. She’s only given up two earned runs so far this season, Her fastball, riseball and curve, everything was working, and she was on her game.”
To be fair, Mayer didn’t win the contest all my herself. The Lions’ hit brigade also consisted of Mayer’s sister, freshman Stacy, who finished 2-for-3 with two RBI; fellow frosh Adriana Toro 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI; Dzialo 2-for-4 with three RBI; junior Emily Berthelette 1-for-3 with two runs; and senior Sarah Albanese 2-for-4 with a run.
“You know, my two freshmen have been outstanding all year,” Ryan noted. “Both Stacy and Adriana are battering over .500. To get that kind of production from two freshmen is great.
“But I’ll also say EP always provides a great game; they’ve got a good team over there,” he added. “I’m just a first-year coach, so the girls and I are still getting used to each other. I’m hoping we’ll peak in May, when we need to. We’re playing good now, and I think we’re only going to get better.”
Lincoln scored a pair in the top of the first inning, courtesy of a two-out rally. Lindsay Mayer roped a hit to left, and Berthelette moved to second with a single to the same. The former raced home on Stacey Mayer’s base hit up the middle, and – with Bouthiellete at third – Dzialo’s infield hit plated her.
The Lions added a trio in the second with one down. Sophomore No. 9 hitter Casie Beauchemin started the flurry with a bunt hit, then moved to third when senior Emma Hart reached on an infield throwing miscue. Hart immediately stole second, and – with two outs – Lindsay Mayer drilled a two-run double to the left-center gap.
Berthelette followed with a walk off of junior starter Nicole Strik, and – with Lindsay at second – the younger Mayer then rapped a single down the left-field line to plate “older sis” for the 5-0 advantage.
At that point, Strik gave way to sophomore reliever Lauren Discuillo, who got out of the frame after Dzialo grounded to short.
In the third, freshman Alyssa Schermerhorn walked and took second on Albanese’s bloop single to left. Beauchemin’s sacrifice bunt moved both to third and second, but Hart grounded to Discuillo, who threw to the plate for the second out.
Toro then pounded a hit to center, scoring both Albanese and Hart, though Toro was thrown out trying to hustle to second.
With Strik back in the circle, the Townies pulled off a nifty double play after Lindsay Mayer had drawn a leadoff walk in the fourth. Bouthillette had whacked a liner at junior third baseman Lucianna Medici, who snagged it and immediately threw to first to get Linsday leaning. Stacy Mayer grounded to short to end the frame.
The Lions stranded Albanese at third in the fifth, but mustered three in the sixth. With one down, Toro rapped an infield hit and Lindsay walked. Bouthillete then grounded to third, and Medici stepped on the bag before firing wildly to first.
After Bouthilette took second on the miscue, Stacy walked to load the bases, and Dzialo ripped a two-run single to the right-center hole. Stacy later came in on the first of two Strik wild offerings in that frame.
Horton’s bloop, two-out single gave EP its second hit of the game, but Lindsay struck out Lindsee Allienello with the final out.
“It was a total team effort,” Ryan grinned while his players clamored to reach the team bus, that due to the extreme wind chill. “They just played as a team. Like I said, EP’s a solid group, but I liked our chances. Our girls fight right to the very end.”
Stated Traverse: “We came in knowing they could hit, and we were hoping they wouldn’t see the same pitcher two or three times. Obviously, the plan didn’t work … We’ve been playing good ball lately. We beat Cumberland, 5-3, on Monday, then lost to Mount St. Charles, 5-4, in extras on Wednesday.
“I can’t be disappointed or angry,” he added. “How could I be? They hit the ball a ton, and their pitcher was dominant.”