By Conor Walsh
---- — ESSEX — Yesterday’s meeting between the Rockport and Manchester Essex softball teams was the kind of game both coaches must now push their teams to forget.
For the Vikings and coach Dianne Parisi, the task is to keep the team grounded after a five-inning, 18-0, mercy rule-shortened drubbing of their CAL rivals.
On the other side, Hornets’ coach Steve Price must push his squad to forget about such a lopsided affair and move on with the season.
It didn’t take long for yesterday’s game, held at Essex’s Memorial Field, to get out of hand, as the visiting Vikings plated nine runs and sent their entire lineup to the plate before a single out was recorded in the top of the first inning.
Shortstop Hannah Lorden got it started with a leadoff double. An error and a walk loaded the bases for Kayla Parisi, who cleared the bases with a three-run double. Two more walks, an error and a hit followed before Meaghan Wonson laced a two-run double to extend the lead.
In total, the Vikings sent 14 batters to the plate in the first inning, and before the Hornets even got a chance to hit, the game was all-but over.
Rockport (2-1) tacked on three runs in the second and third innings and added one in the fourth and two in the fifth to secure the lopsided victory and improve to 2-1 on the year.
Wonson led the way for the Vikings, going 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, four RBI and two runs scored. Second baseman Emily Faulds and right fielder Courtney Nelson each added three hits and two RBI apiece, while Lorden, Mollie Watson and Allie Davis all knocked in runs.
Davis and Isobel MacCrate each scored three times in the game’s first three innings, as well.
Easily forgotten with the game’s offensive fireworks was pitcher Jessica Collins’ performance on the mound. Despite long, drawn-out offensive innings and a lopsided score that could have easily led to a loss of focus, Collins stayed locked in for the Vikings and cruised to a five-hit shutout.
“For us, one of the biggest things has been offense and that was on our side today,” Parisi said. “It was a nice win. Jessica pitched a good game for us, so this was a good day.
“They know the drill now. They’re very good about staying in the game and doing the right thing. In situations like that, it’s hard because when you’re that far ahead you worry about them getting lazy but they didn’t.”
Manchester Essex, which won its season-opener against Ipswich last week, must now move past yesterday’s forgettable performance. Errors doomed them from the start, and while it’s just one game, yesterday’s loss was sure to be demoralizing.
Senior co-captain Nicole Bradley was 3-3 in the loss, while first baseman Sam Taylor chipped in two hits of her own for the Hornets.
“You forget the score, but every game is an opportunity to work on things at the next practice,” Price said. “We’ve got some things to look at. I told them today that it was more physical errors than mental errors, and we can work with that.”
agateHed:Rockport 18, Manchester Essex 0 (5 innings)
agateText:at Memorial Field, Essex
agateText:Rockport: Lorden ss 5-2-2, Faulds 2b 5-2-3, Watson c 2-2-1, Parisi 1b 3-2-1, Collins p 4-1-1, Nelson rf 4-1-3, Davis cf 2-3-1, Gale rf 2-0-0, MacCrate lf 3-3-2, Davis lf 1-0-1, Wonson 3b 4-2-2. Totals 35-18-17
agateText:Manchester Essex: Stasiak lf 2-0-0, Graves 3-0-0, Bradley 3-0-3, Beckmann ss 3-0-0, Taylor 1b/p 3-0-2, Reeves rf 2-0-0, Paccone dh 1-0-0, Field 2b 2-0-0, Woodman 2-0-0. Totals 21-0-5
agate_MLB_linescore9:Rockport: 933 12 | 18
agate_MLB_linescore9:Manchester Essex: 000 00 | 0
agateText:RBI: R, Wonson 4, Parisi 3, Nelson 2, Faulds 2, Davis, Lorden, Watson.
agateText:WP: Collins; LP: Lafferty.