Phantoms win with the long ball

CHESTER, Vt. – The Proctor softball team’s bus parked at Chester’s Jiffy Mart was a welcome sight to Green Mountain fans. It meant that the Fence Busters were finally leaving town.

Proctor’s Jasmine Traverse, Laci French, and Cadence Goodwin hit home runs over the fence in the Phantoms’ 18-10 victory over Green Mountain. The homers by Traverse and French came at pivotal times in the game. The Chieftains were ahead 6-3 when French’s three-run blast tied it in the third. Traverse’s home run in the second with her sister Angel Traverse on base gave the Phantoms a 3-0 lead. The Chieftains took that 6-3 lead with a six-run second inning. They did all that damage with just one hit as Proctor starting pitcher Cadence Goodwin walked four and hit two batters in the frame.

After the left-handed French’s roundtripper to right, the Chiefs recaptured the lead with two in the fourth.

The Phantoms scored four in the top of the fifth to take a 10-8 lead, the big blow being a two-run double by Rhi Lubaszewski. Lubaszewski drilled a shot into the right-center gap that gave the Phantoms the lead they would never surrender.

Kim Cummings doubled to lead off the bottom of the fifth for the Chieftains and came around to score on an error, paring the lead to 10-9. The Phantoms finished strong however, with two runs in the sixth before erupting for six in the seventh.

“A lot of our hitters hit the ball with power and it gets us going,” French said.

“I have been waiting for our bats to open up like this,” Proctor coach Abby Bennett said. The win hikes the Phantoms’ record to 5-0 with two of the victories at the expense of Green Mountain.

“We feed off each other,” French said of the Phantoms lineup, which amassed 18 base hits including the three homers and three doubles.

Jenna Davine had a big day with three hits and two RBIs, but her biggest contribution came in the circle. When the hard-throwing Goodwin began having trouble throwing strikes with the wet ball and loaded the bases by surrendering a walk, a base hit, and hit batsman, Bennett brought Davine to the circle.

Davine throws a tantalizing slow ball that might be described as a lob. It seemed to throw the Green Mountain batters off after Goodwin’s much harder serves.

“It is different, for sure,” Bennett said in the contrast of styles.

“That was a smart move by her,” Green Mountain coach Matt Wilson said. “I have three batters who lunge at fast pitches and they really lunged at the slow ones. Unfortunately, they are my three best pitchers, so what the move did was take away my three best hitters.”

Davine finished the game, and the hitters never got their timing down against her.

Green Mountain pitcher Brie Howe-Lynch deserved a better fate, but her defense gave the hard-hitting Phantoms too many extra outs.

But one piece of the Chiefs’ defense that was outstanding was Cummings at first base. The three-sport standout has one of the biggest and most proficient stretches at first base and it made the difference in at least two close calls that went Green Mountain’s way.

Proctor senior catcher Maggie McKearin was the prototype leadoff batter, reaching all five times and collecting two hits. Goodwin had three RBIs to show for her three hits, and French had four hits.

The Proctor defense was pretty solid with Lubaszewski as the centerpiece of it all at shortstop. She handled six chances flawlessly, and threw to French at third for a couple of force outs.


Written by Tom Haley, The Rutland Herald.


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