Julia Gregoire is making up for lost time, and Massabesic is reaping the benefits.

In her second game back from a torn labrum that forced her to miss her entire sophomore season, Gregoire homered and had two runs batted in and the Mustangs (2-0) beat the Kennebunk Rams (0-1) 10-7.

“(Julia’s) just a great kid,” said Massabesic coach Kevin Tutt. “It’s a great story to have her back. She’s tremendous offensively, she’s solid defensively over at third and she’s just a great kid.”

Photo by Jason Gendron / Julia Gregoire crushes a homer during the fifth inning of Massabesic’s 10-7 win over Kennebunk on Monday.

Gregoire’s homer, her fourth hit in seven at-bats to open the season, came in the fourth after the Mustangs scored eight runs the previous inning.

Ninth-place hitter Ashley Day opened the floodgates on a rainy day at Massabesic High School with a single through the infield to lead off the third, and seven of the next eight Mustangs reached base. The only one who didn’t, Emily Morin, drove in Day on a sacrifice fly. Emily Davison homered to right field for her first of the season.

Kennebunk made an error and missed a couple of close plays in the inning that led to several Massabesic runs and put the young Rams squad in an uphill battle.

“We had one bad inning – We’re a team that’s going to learn every game,” said Kennebunk coach Eddie Pike. “Like I told (my team), ‘I’ve never been a quitter in anything I’ve done in my life, and I’m not going to coach that way either.’”

Photo by Jason Gendron / Massabesic starter Grace Tutt fires a pitch to home plate against Kennebunk on Monday afternoon. Tutt struck out nine hitters in seven innings.

The Rams took a page out of their coach’s playbook and didn’t go down without a fight – even against Mustangs pitcher Grace Tutt, who struck out nine in seven innings. After scoring a run in the fourth on an RBI infield single by Lucy Stone, the Rams plated four in the fifth to make the score 9-6.

Christine Jarowicz ignited Kennebunk’s rally with a double to center. The senior captain also earned a walk, scored two runs and made two outstanding plays in center field, including a sliding catch on a blooper to keep the Rams within striking distance.

It’s the kind of effort Pike knows he can depend on from Jarowicz, and one he hopes the rest of his roster will emulate.

“(Christine) brings the energy,” said Pike. “She brings that work ethic that I want to instill in this program. Not just for this year, but for going forward. She’s everything we want in our players.”

Massabesic pushed across a run in the sixth, and Kennebunk answered with one of its own in the seventh on a double steal of home to cut the Mustang advantage to three. The game ended with Zoe Novicki getting thrown out trying to steal third base.

While you never want to make the last out of an inning or the game at third, Pike said, he felt like swiping a base would have given the Rams a better chance to score a run in that situation.

Photo by Jason Gendron / Kennebunk didn’t go down without a fight against Massabesic, scoring seven runs on eight hits.

“We’re going to be aggressive, and we’ve got the athletes to do it,” Pike said. “They need to be confident in their abilities … The girls are coming along. We have a program, we have a process and we have a plan.”  

During the offseason, most of Massabesic’s players participated in a 10-week, self-run hitting program in an effort to sharpen their offensive prowess. The Mustangs put up 12 runs in their season opener and reached double-digits again Monday, with eight different batters recording an RBI.

“They put in the time, and it shows,” said Kevin Tutt. “There are some kids who can do some damage with the bat … We know that nothing is going to be given to us, and if we want something, we’ve got to go and grab it. The key, we’ve talked about is making statements this year. Two games into it, we’re 2-0. Not the prettiest …but we’ll build from it.”

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