WEST BOYLSTON -- Ayer Shirley extended its winning streak to two games after defeating West Boylston 10-5 on the road at Goodale Park. "It feels great," First-year Ayer Shirley head coach Terri Rollins said. "The girls are staying motivated. After we recorded the final out, the girls said 'coach, that's our second straight win.' It's our first winning streak of the year. It feels nice for them. I am very proud of them. They are a level-headed group. These girls aren't letting up, they keep fighting."
The Panthers jumped on the Lions in the first inning, scoring four runs on two hits. West Boylston starting pitcher Brooke Moylan walked the first two batters of the game in Maddie Mitrano (2-for-3, 3B, 2 runs scored) and Natalie Carroll.
Junior catcher Tina Babcock laid down a sacrifice slap bunt down the third base side to bring Mitrano in from third base. Megan Esielionis kept the runners in motion with an RBI single up the shoot into center field, scoring Carroll from second to make it 2-0. Senior Sydney Brinkerhoff singled to right center field to put runners at first-and-second with one out. Kayla Timmins (1-for-3, 3B, 2 RBI) loaded the bases after she reached on a throwing error by the second baseman. Esielionis came across to score on the error.
Melissa Belanger cracked a well-struck ground ball to the left side and was called out at first, but not before Brinkerhoff slid home with the final run of the inning to make it 4-0 Ayer Shirley at the end of the Panther first. Ayer Shirley starting pitcher Kassie Breest (7 innings, 7 strikeouts, six hits, five runs) retired the top of the West Boylston lineup 1-2-3 in the first.
Ayer Shirley added three more in the second. Mitrano smashed a one-out triple to the warning track in left field and would late score on a RBI single up the middle by Carroll. Moylan made the early exit after 1 1/3 innings following the triple by Mitrano.
Babcock reached on a walk and later scored on a RBI single that trickled down the right field line by Brinkerhoff.
Esielionis tried to come around from second on the Brinkerhoff hit, but she was cooked at the plate on the relay throw by West Boylston third baseman Hallie Garcia. The Panthers coasted into the bottom of the second up 7-0. West Boylston left a pair of runners stranded in the bottom half of the inning, but Breest still kept the Lions hitless through two.
Ayer Shirley tacked on two insurance runs in the third inning on a 2 RBI line drive triple to the left field fence scoring both Belanger and Olivia Warila, who both walked earlier in the inning. West Boylston cut the Ayer Shirley lead to six, 9-3, in the bottom of the third.
Lion catcher Kristina Economou fouled off five pitches before blasting a Breest fastball to left field for a 2 RBI double, scoring Garcia and Markie Flemming. Economou later scored on a double by Johnson up the middle.
The Panthers added one more run in the fourth on a wild pitch to extend their lead to 10-3.
"We had a bit of a lull and came back and held them," she said. "Kass held her own in the fourth and fifth inning. Economou was running up Kassie's pitch total -- it really slowed her down.
We stayed on task and took it one at a time. We're still on the outside looking in on districts, but it is not out of the question."