BREWER — With junior Sydney Ouzts in the pitcher’s circle, the Deer Isle-Stonington Mariners know that if they score some runs, their chances of winning are pretty good.
The Mariners did just that, and did it early, on Tuesday afternoon as they romped to a 28-2 Eastern Maine Class D Championship softball win over the Ashland Hornets at Coffin Field.
Ouzts turned in her third straight strong tournament performance, allowing just one hit and striking out eight batters.
The only run she allowed came in the first inning.
After Brooke Labelle had walked and moved to third on a wild pitch, Ouzts interrupted her windup after something was shouted from the Ashland crowd and the umpire called a balk and waved Labelle home.
But the Mariners struck for 20 first-inning runs, shelling Ashland pitcher Whitney Donovan, on a combination of 12 hits, eight walks and several Ashland miscues.
Those hits included a two-run double and a two-run single by Abby Grindle, a pair of two-run singles by Amber Jones, two-run singles by Emily Cormier and Julie Hutchins and two singles, good for three RBI, by Chelsea Brown.
The Mairiners went on to add eight more runs — one in the third and seven in the fourth — before the game ended after the top of the fifth due to the mercy rule.
In the fourth inning, Ouzts had an RBI single, Brown had a two-run single and Heidi Brewer and Jones both had two-run doubles.
All three pitchers — Ouzts for the Mariners and Donovan and Anna Paradis for the Hornets — struggled to grip the ball at times because of the wet conditions resulting from a steady rain.
The 17-2 Mariners, who won their second straight EM title, will now travel to St. Joseph College in Standish on Saturday to face the Richmond Bobcats at 3 p.m. for the state Class D championship.
The Bobcats downed the Mariners 14-12 in last year’s state final.
Mike Oles of The Ellsworth American contributed to this story.