THOMASTON – A year ago, Hannah Hersom was playing on a young Rockland High softball team that went 4-12. This year she is the starting center fielder for Oceanside High, the school that was formed when Rockland and Georges Valley merged.

And she’s having a blast with her new teammates.

Rachel Frye threw a no-hitter and struck out 11 on Wednesday as Oceanside grabbed the top spot in Eastern Class B, routing Medomak Valley, 9-0.

The teams had entered the game tied for the No. 1 spot in the Heal point standings.

The Mariners (13-1) pounded out 15 hits in beating the Panthers (13-2) for the second time this season and stopping their 13-game winning streak.

“We know we can hit, we know we can pitch,” said Oceanside Coach Rusty Worcester. “So we work on the other stuff all the time in practice. And when we put it all together like we did today, it’s a nice thing to watch.”

Of course, winning is nothing new to Worcester and the girls who played for him at Georges Valley, like Frye. The team played in the last five Western Class C championship games, and won state titles in 2007 and 2008.

Hersom and her fellow former Rocklanders wanted to become part of that tradition.

“I play in summer ball with a lot of (the former Georges Valley players),” she said. “So I knew most of them coming in. All the girls from Rockland were excited. They had done a lot of winning.”

And now they’re fitting in seamlessly.

“Those Rockland players know how to play,” said Frye, who walked two. “And Coach is teaching them things that he’s been teaching us for the last three years. One thing about this team is that we’re pretty tight.

“I’m actually surprised we were able to get this close in such a short amount of time.”

It helps to have talent.

Not only can the Mariners hit and pitch, but they can play defense.

Medomak Valley, playing its third game in three days, had a runner on third with one out in the first after a double error. But first baseman Jill Bradbury snapped a low liner inches off the ground, then doubled the runner off third.

Then in the seventh, third baseman Kennadi Grover — who had hit a towering home run in the third inning — made a diving catch of a foul pop for the first out.

Bradbury grabbed a line drive for the second out.

Oceanside got to Medomak Valley starter Desiree Benner in the third. With one out, Hersom crushed an RBI triple to right, one-hopping the fence. She scored on a groundout to shortstop Mallory Conary — who made a nice short-hop stop. Then Grover slammed her home run to make it 3-0.

Bradbury had a two-run single in the fourth, Hannah Plourde had a two-run single in the fifth and Frye hit a two-run double in the sixth.

“They placed their hits well,” said Panthers Coach Richard Vannah. “They were ready to play. I would have liked to have had a day of practice to get ready.”

All that was left was the no-hitter. Surprisingly, there was no celebration after Frye fielded the grounder and threw to Bradbury for the final out.

“I didn’t even know until the game was over,” said catcher Jessie Veilleux.

But, said Worcester, that’s the way the Mariners are.

“They are naive to stats,” he said. “They just want to be out there helping each other as a team. All they care about is that they put up more runs than the other team.” 

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH