By Nick Curcuru
MANCHESTER— The Rockport softball team has officially reached uncharted territory following Thursday's 13-1 win over Manchester Essex at Sweeney Park. With the win Rockport moves to 7- 0 for the first time ever according to head coach Dianne Parisi. The Vikings now need just three wins over their final 11 games to qualify for the postseason.
"We have never been in this spot before but we are excited to be 7-0," Parisi said. "This team knows its potential and they want to make some noise in Division 3. The best thing about this team is that they have come ready to play and they take it one at bat at a time."
On Thursday the Hornets found out just why the Vikings are unbeaten as the victors were firing on all cylinders. Offensively Rockport belted out 14 hits, they did not commit an error in the field while starting pitcher Kristin Turner went the distance allowing just one run on eight hits. Rockport was even aggressive on the base paths with seven stolen bases and turned to small ball when they needed to scoring runs on sacrifice bunts and sacrifice flys.
Sophomore shortstop Gabby Muniz powered the Vikings offense with three hits and 3 RBI. Left fielder Meghan Tupper had three bunt singles and three runs scored while Hannah Lorden, Kendra Adams and Turner all had a pair of hits.
"We have been pretty solid all year and we were again today," Parisi said. "Our offense and defense is clicking and we are getting great pitching from Kristin."
Manchester Essex (3-4) head coach Rob Bradley knew his team had its hands full with a powerful Rockport lineup. The Hornets would have had to play nearly flawless softball to win Wednesday but a few sloppy plays on the defensive end led to runs for Rockport.
"It would have taken our best to compete today, but we made it easy on them at times," Bradley said. "That's not taking anything away from Rockport. They have a tough lineup and they are 7-0 for a reason, this just wasn't one of our best performances. But it's just one game, we are going to focus on correcting our mistakes and stay positive the rest of the way."
After two scoreless innings to start the contest, Rockport exploded for 13 runs over the next five. Mollie Watson got the Vikings on the board in the third when she singled in Hannah Lorden who singled and stole second base. Muniz drove in Watson one batter later with a single up the middle and she was driven in one batter later on a bloop single to right from Adams.
After a Nicole Bradley (2 hits) RBI single in the third made it 3-1, Rockport answered back with three more runs in the top of the fourth. Tupper and senior captain Amanda Chalmers scored on a throwing error to make it 5-1, Haley Lorden made it 6-1 later in the inning scoring on a Watson sacrifice fly.
Rockport added two more runs in the fifth inning on a fielders choice and a bases loaded walk, three more in the sixth on RBI hits from Adams and Tupper and two more in the seventh on a pair of RBI's from Muniz.