CHESTER, Vt. — Springfield senior Hannah Crosby, who has started nearly every game on the mound since her freshman year, was sitting on the bench at Green Mountain on Monday afternoon, her left knee wrapped tight in a brace, watching as her team fell 10-7 to the Chieftains.
Crosby was injured recently running the bases in a game against Hartford. The extent of the injury is unknown, as she is still waiting for an appointment for an MRI.
“If there’s no damage to the knee, I should be able to get back playing soon,” she said. “We’ll see.”
In her absence, Springfield turned to Julianna Albero-Levings and Izzy Belisle, with each girl throwing three innings. Both pitched pretty well, “but we didn’t have a good defensive day today,” said Springfield coach Andy Bladyka.
The Springfield coach explained that there is additional pressure on the defense when Crosby doesn’t pitch.
“More balls are put in play,” he said.
It was a game of teams in the midst of strong seasons. Springfield entered the game tied with Mt. Abraham for the Division II lead while Green Mountain has now won six of its last seven and stands in fifth place in Division III at 12-3.
Erika Knockenhauer was the complete game pitcher for the Chiefs. While she gave up 10 hits, she walked just two. Her defense also let her down at times.
“It was not a well played game,” said Green Mountain coach Terry Farrell. “Springfield is a different team without Hannah.”
The game reached its final score after four innings, but it was Springfield that had the chances to make some noise late. In the sixth, the Cosmos had runners on second and third with one out, but Knockenhauer got a comebacker and strikeout to escape. Then, in the seventh, Springfield got the first two batters on, but Knockenhauer got two strikeouts and the third out came when second baseman Maya Farrar stabbed a ball on the run in the hole between first and second and got to the first base bag before the batter.
Green Mountain scored its runs in bunches, getting four in the first and fourth innings. Annie Lamson and Meika Hance had two-run singles in the first. It was an inning in which Maddie Wilson, who entered the game with a batting average over .700, also had a single.
As good an offensive player as Wilson is, she may be a better catcher.
“She’s certainly the best catcher I’ve ever had here,” said Farrell.
Green Mountain got its runs in the fourth inning with the help of the Cosmos, who made a couple of errors and compounded that with two wild pitches and a hit batsman.
Springfield had a five-run third on just three hits, as it was Green Mountain’s turn to get sloppy, committing three errors in the inning and two more in the fourth that led to two more runs.
Springfield outhit Green Mountain 10-6 as Albero-Levings, Ari Cioffi and Haley Streeter each had two hits for the Cosmos. Hance had a pair of hits for the Chiefs.
Springfield hosts Otter Valley at 7 p.m. Wednesday while GM is off until Friday, when it travels to Woodstock.