Unbeaten Cougars pass week’s first test, 7-1 over Conant

Staff photo by TOM KING Campbell's Emma Rousseau slides safely into second,just beating the tag by Conant shortstop Manny Aho during Monday's 7-1 win over the Orioles in LItchfield, keeping the hosts unbeaten on the spring.

LITCHFIELD – This is a week when the Campbell High School softball team might find out what it’s made of.

So far, the Cougars are made up of nothing but winners.

They’re 10-0 following Monday’s 7-1 win at home over fellow Division III contender Conant, and they face another contender in Bishop Brady on the road on Tuesday. Then it’s off to Jaffrey to face Conant in the rematch on Wednesday.

“It’s a big week coming up,” Cougars slugger Emma Rousseau, who drove in three runs, said. “I think one of the biggest things is we always work as a team. No matter who strikes out, who makes a mistake, we’re always picking each other up.”

They made only a couple of miscues on Monday, and certainly took advantge of any mistakes (four errors) the Orioles (8-3) made as well.

“It was an excellent start (to the week),” Campbell coach Eric Gibbons said. “This win we needed.”

It’s tough to gauge Division III because teams don’t all play each other, but right now the Cougars look very good. Monday sophomore Olivia Byers checked the O’s on three hits, striking out six without walking a hitter. The only run Conant scored was unearned in the fourth, coming after Campbell had grabbed a 4-0 lead.

“We had some mental breakdowns where we didn’t do the play after the play,” Conant coach Wiley Billings said. “And we have to hit. One run isn’t going to win a game. (Byers) is a good pitcher, she mixed her speeds, hit her spots today. … They’re tough.”

Campbell got a run in the second off Conant hurler Cam Aho when, with a runner on, Riley Gamache lined a base hit to left that got by Conant’s Hannah Carey to allow a run.

They put three more on the board in the third on four hits, the key blow a two-run double by Rousseau.

“She’s a stud,” Gibbons said of his center fielder who bats cleanup. “She’s having a great year.”

The Cougars tacked on three more in the fifth thanks to another Rousseau RBI hit and two more Oriole errors. What was supposed to be a big test turned into a rout.

Gibbons has to like what he sees.

“I like everything,” Gibbons said. “We bring a college practice mentality and they all adapt to it.”

“We haven’t hit for two weeks,” Billings said. “Maybe we’ll break out of it when we see them again on Wednesday.”

Another day, another challenge for the Cougar winners. They don’t mind one bit.