Softball: Oxford Hills tops Skowhegan in Class A North showdown

WATERVILLE — It was an offensive slugfest between the top two softball teams in Class A North on Monday night.

In the end, the bats of the Oxford Hills Vikings landed the final punch.

The No. 2 Vikings collected 11 hits on the way to an 11-6 victory over No. 1 Skowhegan at Colby College. Junior second baseman Gigi DeVivo led the way offensively for Oxford Hills (8-1), racking up three hits and scoring three runs along with an RBI.

“It feels really good,” DeVivo said. “We know every season that playing Skowhegan is going to be a tough game. We prepare for it. It feels good to come out on top tonight.”

“This is where it’s fun,” added Oxford Hills head coach Cindy Goddard. “It’s good competition. We both know (it’s a game) that only makes us better. It’s a matchup that we love.”

Sophomore first baseman Charlotte McGreevy had three hits for the Vikings, including a double, while senior third baseman Maddy Miller had two hits.

Annabelle Morris, Carlie Jarvais, Arabel Linkletter and Natalie Gilman each had two hits for the River Hawks (7-1), who had 12 altogether. Linkletter, Gilman  and Ryleigh Carey each had doubles.

The Vikings and River Hawks kept play even through the first four innings, with Oxford Hills holding a 6-5 advantage entering the fifth. The Vikings switched pitchers in the third, going from starter Kyeria Morse to Cameron Mayhan, and proceeded to keep Skowhegan scoreless for the next four innings. The River Hawks added their final run in the seventh inning, when pinch hitter Aryana Aldrich plated Linkletter on an RBI groundout.

Offensively, the Vikings managed to rattle River Hawks starter Lily Noyes, who struck out eight batters, but also walked eight batters. Oxford Hills finished strong at the plate, scoring three runs in the seventh inning.

“We worked a lot on waiting on the (changeup) recently, and (Noyes) has got a good one,” DeVivo said. “We focused a lot on that. We also focused on carrying throughout the entire game with our bats and not slowing down at all.”

“(DeVivo) was amazing tonight, I think she got on (base) every time,” Goddard said. “She does things on the basepaths and makes things happen. It was nice to see that we were up in the (pitch) count and making good, solid contact. We were comfortable in the batter’s box and able to make some good, solid contact and things happened.”

Oxford Hills did not have its cleanest day defensively but made plays when it needed to. Skowhegan had the unfortunate luck of hitting several line drives right at Viking defenders.

“I thought we hit the ball pretty well,” Skowhegan head coach Lee Johnson said. “We hit some balls that, if it could have found a hole, might have been a completely different ballgame.”

The River Hawks also had lapses defensively, committing three errors.

“We’ve hit the ball all year, but we’ve had moments where defensively, we’re kind of giving away extra outs. Against a good team like Oxford Hills, you can’t do that. And we paid for it.”

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