NHIAA Softball: Bedford shows offensive might
NASHUA — Obviously, the purpose in any sport is to get ahead and stay ahead.
Bedford followed that script perfectly Tuesday, rattling Nashua North freshman pitcher Emily Blondin for eight runs over the first two innings. After that, the Bulldogs never took their foot off the pedal, crushing the Titans 16-4 in an NHIAA Division I tilt.
Before many of the patrons ever found their seats in the bleachers, this game was over. The Bulldogs plated a solo run in the first on Erica Barley’s home run to deep center field, and put the contest to bed in the next inning, scoring seven runs.
In the second, the Bulldogs (4-0) banged out five of their 15 hits and took advantage of three Titans errors to turn it into a rout. A two-run single by junior Erin Murphy and another RBI from Barley highlighted the frame.
“Even though we built an early lead, we still knew we had to continue to work hard and stay strong defensively,” said Barley, a sophomore. “We couldn’t just lay back at that point. Fortunately, we still kept on hitting, which was nice to see. The idea is to get on top of your opponent and not let them get on top of you first. You always want to start strong and put the pressure on the other team.”
Pitching with a nice cushion, Bedford starter Katherine Martin cruised. The senior righty held Nashua North (1-3, losers of three straight) to one hit and no runs over the first three innings. Martin went five innings, allowing six hits, striking out 10.
The Bulldogs scored four more times in the top of the third, all with two out against reliever Brittany Wheeler. With Kylie Dimond on first following a single, Barley next looped a single to right, and the ball tipped off right fielder Allison Alton’s glove and rolled into foul territory, allowing Dimond to score and Barley taking third. A Murphy single, moments later, brought Barley home. Then Audrey Pederson launched a homer into the right-center field gap to make it 12-0.
The Titans’ fourth inning featured singles by Thavary Hay, Alexis Miranda and Lexis Gayac, sandwiched around a pair of Bedford errors to make it 12-3. But in the Bulldogs’ fifth, a two-run triple off the bat of pinch-hitter Hannah Thompson pushed Bedford’s lead to 14-3.
“We go pretty deep as far as our hitters go,” Bedford head coach Jay Brewster said. “When you get a lead like that it allows you to get everybody into the game, which is nice. Most of these girls play summer ball and are very good players. This is a group that is very united. We’ve only played one quarter of the season so we will still have to see what happens, but I do like what I see thus far.
“I know there are other teams out there that are as good, if not better, than us,” Brewster said. “It’s still a long season.”
After the Titans got one back in the fifth, Bedford answered again in the sixth on RBIs from Murphy and Pederson to make it a mercy-ruled triumph.