LAWRENCE — A steady drizzle, cool temperatures and a wet field were no problem for Central Catholic seniors Brianna Martin and Meg Donegan yesterday afternoon.
Martin started the Central scoring with a solo home run in the third and was 2 for 3 on the day with two RBIs and two runs scored and Donegan struck out 14 batters while scattering five hits in a 6-1 Raider victory.
Donegan was in command most of the way, but particularly early, striking out the side in both the first and second innings.
"I was excited ... I love playing against Methuen," said Donegan, who beat the Rangers for the second time this year. "I know a lot of their players and it's a big game with Brianna and Karissa (Forzese) both being from Methuen.
"The rain didn't bother me. If the ball got wet, I just asked for another (drier) one."
The Raiders (11-2) got the only runs they would need in the bottom of the third when Martin led off with a blast over the left-center fence, Britt Hall singled to right and, after Donegan reached base on a misplayed fly ball, Corrine Gosselin drove in Hall with her first of two RBIs.
Central added three runs in the fourth, the key blow being a two-RBI single by Donegan, and a single run in the fifth — more than enough support.
Methuen pitcher Carissa Cicolini actually pitched well.
Three of Central's seven hits were bloopers and three errors hurt her cause.
Three of Central's runs were unearned.
"You can't give a team like that extra chances," said Methuen coach Jason Smith, whose club dropped to 10-6. "We've done that a few other times and sometimes we get away with it, but you can't give up runs when you're facing a pitcher that good because you can't expect to get a lot of offense.
"She (Donegan) was mixing her pitches well and we were going for her rise ball early instead of laying back. She's tough ... she's got my vote for (MVC) Player of the Year."
Methuen scored its lone run in the sixth when Courtney Bradley led off with a single, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cicolini and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Alyssa Cote was 2 for 3 for the Rangers although both hits were aided by the conditions, first on a dribbler that died in the wet dirt and later on a popup into short left field that shortstop Alex Borrelli surely would have fielded if she hadn't slipped on the wet grass.
Methuen is scheduled to play at Tewksbury tomorrow while Central is at home against Billerica.
Central Catholic 6, Methuen 1
Methuen (1): Bradley ss 2-1-1, Ciccolini p 2-0-0, Armstrong c 3-0-0, Caterino cf 3-0-0, Perusse 2b 2-0-1, Cote lf 3-0-2, Mulligan dp 3-0-1, DiZoglio 3b 2-0-0, Gonzalez ph 1-0-0, Littlefield rf 3-0-0, Allen 1b 0-0-0. Totals 24-1-5
Central Catholic (6): Martin cf 3-2-2, Hall 2b 3-2-1, Donegan p 4-0-1, King pr 0-0-0, Gosselin 1b 3-0-2, Michal c 3-0-0, Forzese 3b 4-0-1, Economou dl 3-0-0, Howe rf 2-1-0, Borrelli 3-1-0, Moore rf 0-0-0. Totals 28-6-7
RBI: CC — Martin 2, Donegan 2, Gosselin 2
WP: Donegan; LP: Cicolini
Methuen (10-6):0 0 0 0 0 1 0 — 1
Central Catholic (11-2):0 0 2 3 1 0 0 — 6
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