No LR rally magic, Raiders pull out softball playoff win

Lake Region had plenty of chances to score Tuesday, but left eight players in scoring position and 15 on base.

Fryeburg Academy had fewer runners, but made them count.

Tenth-ranked Fryeburg broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning as senior Sydney Charles knocked a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Amanda Gillette, who had singled to lead the Raiders to a 4-2 victory in a Class B West preliminary softball game in Naples.

Fryeburg added an insurance run as Makenzie Buzzell also singled to start the fifth, and later scored on a Makaela Cooper ground ball out.

It proved to be a game full of missed opportunities for the seventh-ranked Lakers (9-8).

After Fryeburg took a 1-0 lead in the first as Charles doubled deep to left and later scored on an outfield error, the Lakers left runners on second and third in the bottom half of the frame as Casey Heath doubled sharply down the line as the ball just hopped over the bag. Courtesy runner Ashley Garrett (in for pitcher Ashley Clark who drew a walk) then stole second. But, a weak infield fly ball and a ground out ended the threat.

The Lakers loaded the bases in the second on an error and singles by Brittany Perreault and Heath. Clark then had a ground ball hit off FA pitcher Jeannette White’s glove, but a quick throw by third baseman Kristen Chipman proved to be just in time to end the inning and save a run.

Lake Region finally broke through in the third inning as Allison Morse was hit by a pitch, Jackie Laurent singled and Nicole Marucci walked. With two out, Samantha Marucci lined a 1-0 pitch up the middle to plate two runs.

The lead, however, was short-lived as the Raiders evened the count as a deep fly ball by Lexi L’Heureux-Carland was misplayed and dropped near the fence in centerfield. She then scored on a ground ball out to the right side by Chipman.

The Lakers had a chance to strike back in the home half as Nicole Marucci and Perreault each singled, but were left on base as two fly ball outs caused the rally attempt to fizzle.

Fryeburg had a chance to grab an insurance run in the seventh as Kylie Locke hammered a one hopper off the leftfield fence for a lead-off double. But, LR pitcher Ashley Clark kept the Raiders from scoring by inducing two fly ball outs and an infield out. LR catcher Allison Morse, who sprained her ankle midway through the game, made a diving catch of a fouled bunt attempt for the first out.

“Allison is a tough kid who plays with a lot of heart. She refused to let me take her out of the game at any point despite the pain she was in,” LR Coach Wayne Rivet said. “Allison’s play behind the plate has been one of the big reasons we were able to turn things around here.”

LR made a run at the Raiders in the seventh as Destinee Durant singled with one out and Perreault walked. Samantha Marucci connected and flared the ball out toward leftfield, but FA senior shortstop Sydney Charles made a fantastic over-the-shoulder catch to end the game and send the Raiders to the quarterfinals.

“We gave ourselves every opportunity to win this game, but came up short. Some mistakes really came back to hurt us, but like we have done all season, the girls battled all day and never gave up right up until the final out. I am very, very proud of their tenacity and told them they should be very proud of what they accomplished this year,” Coach Rivet said. “Maybe what I am most proud of is, when things got a little testy, they kept their composure and showed good sportsmanship. As a wise coach impressed upon me for several years, it’s all about playing the game the right way. These girls certainly did that.”

The Raiders (8-9) travel today, Thursday, to play second-ranked Lincoln Academy (14-2). The winner gets the victor of the Wells-Gray-New Gloucester match-up.

Pitchers’ lines

LR, Ashley Clark allowed just four hits, one walk and struck out seven.

FA, Jeannette White allowed nine hits, six walks, hit two batsmen and struck out one.

Honorary Laker

Senior Elisabeth Waugh sang the “National Anthem.”

Tip of the hat

The Lady Lakers and the coaching staff give the SAD 61 grounds crew a big “thank you” for preparing the field for Tuesday’s playoff game. Special thanks to Darryl Fernald, who carefully trimmed tall grass away from the outfield temporary fencing.

 

 

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