RUMFORD — Dirigo wasn’t about to let this opportunity sail by and pulled seniority on Mountain Valley in a softball game on Friday afternoon.
Slick hitting Tasha DeRoche singled home Alyssa Wade with the eventual winning run with two outs in the fifth inning, and Wade survived by pitching out of a jam in the seventh as the Cougars triumphed over Mountain Valley with a 4-3 victory. The Falcons had beat Dirigo 5-3 earlier this month.
Dirigo (8-7) was clinging to a one-run lead when Wade singled with one out in the sixth and advanced on Mariah Larson’s ground out. DeRoche (two hits, two RBIs) hit an offering from MV pitcher Lindsay Gallant to deep left field. The Cougars never trailed in the contest, but endured anxious moments as the Falcons refused to let up and had the potential winning runs on base in the final two innings.
“We finally played a complete game,” Dirigo coach Clint Dolloff said. “The girls stayed together, and that was the biggest difference. Last time we played Mountain Valley, I had nine players going in different directions.”
Mountain Valley (4-9) scored a run in the sixth when Kristin Ridge singled home Lynsie Dupuis. In the bottom of the seventh, Wade struck out McKenzie Paterson and Courtney Carlson (two hits). Then the drama started as Mountain Valley cleanup batter Jesse Kane (two hits) smashed a ball in the gap for a double and advanced to third on a Hannah LaPointe single. Wade buckled down and induced Bree Roberts to ground out.
“This was an important game — it’s a rivaly,” said Wade, who went 3-for-4 with two runs. “We wanted to beat them on their senior night, plus we wanted to go in to the playoffs with some momentum.”
Dirigo had scored three runs in the first two innings. Wade and Larson each singled and scored on DeRoche’s sacrifice fly and Alyssa Charity’s RBI-single. Natalie Bolduc scored an unearned run in the second.
Mountain Valley broke through with two runs in the third. Lauren White led off with a single and advanced to third. She alertly scored when the Dirigo catcher threw to second base on an attempted pick-off. Carlson raced home on LaPointe’s RBI single. The Falcons stranded eight base runners.
The game featured some defensive gems on both sides at third base. The Falcons’ Brooke Dolloff caught a sharp grounder and alertly tagged out Paige Murphy, then tagged out a Ambyr Wilson who got caught in a rundown. The Cougars’ Gretchen Bradbury charged in and caught a Gallant pop-up off her shoe tops.
“I ran us out of a couple runs in the latter innings,” Dolloff said. “Our defense was solid. As for the playoffs, I think we’ll go in fifth or sixth, depending on what Madison does. We could face either Jay or Monmouth.”