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April 10, 2014

(Already) in prime form

Forgetta throws one-hitter, Rangers remain hot

METHUEN — It’s not easy replacing an All-Conference pitcher, but Methuen is doing just that without missing a beat.

In fact, in the wake of graduated ace Chrissy Scionti, the Rangers are off to a terrific start to the season. After yesterday’s 11-0 shutout of North Andover, the Rangers are 3-0 and have outscored their three opponents 23-1.

Junior Kayleigh Forgetta has stepped in for Scionti with tremendous success, pitching a one-hitter last night, and in three starts this season allowed just eight hits in 21 innings.

That may seem stunning for someone who played second base her first two years, but Forgetta’s teammates are far from surprised.

“It’s what I expected,’ said captain Amanda Lemire. “She put in a lot of work in the offseason, and she’s gotten faster.”

It’s certainly what head coach Jason Smith was hoping for.

“Kayleigh has done a fantastic job so far,” said Smith. “She moves the ball around really well. She doesn’t rely on overpowering people and she really mixes it up.

“The other thing is that she and (All-Conference catcher) Kat (Lefebre) have done a great job of working together.”

Forgetta — who was a fifth-inning single away from a no-hitter — has gotten plenty of support throughout the lineup and yesterday was no exception. Eight different players combined for 12 hits with Lemire (2 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored ) and junior center fielder Meghan Murphy (4 for 4, 4 RBIs) leading the way.

Despite posting similar batting averages last year, Murphy, who moved over from right field this year, is batting second in the order with Lemire in the ninth spot. Both prefer where they’re at.

“I like batting second,” said Murphy who started last year near the bottom of the order. “You’re more into the game and I like to get up there right away.”

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