H.S. softball: Underhill-Tilton powers Richmond past Rangeley, into D South semis

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Richmond’s Sydney Tilton clobbers a walk-off home run to put the Bobcats up 12-0 in bottom of fifth inning during a D South quarterfinal game against Rangeley on Thursday in Richmond. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)

RICHMOND — Sydney Underhill-Tilton put the punctuation on Thursday’s Class D South quarterfinal game, and sent a message to the rest of the teams left in the tournament.

Watch out for the Bobcats.

Underhill-Tilton crushed a pitch over the left-field wall for a walk-off home run — enforcing the 12-run mercy rule — as No. 2 Richmond beat No. 7 Rangeley 12-0 at the Burney-Gardner complex.

The Bobcats won’t have much time to savor the win. Richmond (15-1) will host No. 3 Buckfield on Friday in the semifinals.

“Defensively, we played pretty well,” Richmond coach Tony Martin said. “I think we could’ve played a little bit better, but we did well. Our bats came to life a little bit, started hitting the ball. It was a good game.”

Rangeley ends its season with a 4-10 record.

The home run by Underhill-Tilton was her only official at-bat. She was intentionally walked twice and hit by a pitch.

“I’m definitely working on what I can do better as a hitter every (at-bat),” Underhill-Tilton said. “But definitely hitting hard, putting my all into the ball and just trusting my skills and what happens, happens.”

It was the highlight of an otherwise quiet day with the bats by the Bobcats, who had four hits. Bryanne Lancaster aided in the offensive output, smacking two singles and collecting two RBIs.

Underhill-Tilton earned the win in the circle for the Bobcats, striking out five batters in three innings of work. Caitlin Kendrick pitched the final two innings for Richmond.

Sydney Royce had two of the Lakers’ three hits, including a double.

Shifty business

Rangeley put forth an interesting defensive shift on Underhill-Tilton when she smacked her homer in the fifth inning.

The Lakers shifted nearly all of their defense to the left side of the field (Underhill-Tilton is a right-handed hitter), with the outfielders located right against the outfield fence. Only one player was situated on the right-hand side of the diamond.

It wasn’t the first time Underhill-Tilton had been played that way by Rangeley.

“They have their own defense,” Underhill-Tilton said. “When we go up there or they come down here, they just send everybody (to the left of the field).

(Mentally) it’s just been, ‘Hit the ball the other way,’ or, ‘Just hit the ball.’ I do what I can. Just go up there and hit the ball, whatever happens, happens.”

Patience pays off

The Bobcats showed excellent patience at the plate Thursday, drawing nine walks against the Lakers. Richmond also provided some spark on the base paths, collecting four steals.

Season sweep

Richmond beat Rangeley in all three of its contests this season. The Bobcats beat the Lakers 14-0 in the season opener on April 24, and 6-3 on May 15.

Looking for sweep No. 2

Richmond is 2-0 this season against Buckfield. The Bobcats beat the Bucks 11-4 on April 30 and 9-5 on May 22.

Richmond’s Sydney Tilton shakes hands after hitting a walk-off home run to put the Bobcats up 12-0 in bottom of fifth inning during a D South quarterfinal game against Rangeley on Thursday in Richmond. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)

Richmond softball coach Tony Martin during a playoff game Thursday in Richmond. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)

Caitlin Kendrick pitches during playoff game against Rangeley on Thursday in Richmond. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)

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