H.S. softball: ‘Runners egde Falcons in extra innings

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RUMFORD — Molly McCafferty singled home Sam Werzanski with the winning run in the top of the eighth inning, leading the Mt. Abram Roadrunners to a come-from-behind, 3-2 triumph over Mountain Valley in eight innings on Wednesday.

The contest was an old-fashioned pitching duel between McCafferty and the Falcons’ Lindsay Gallant, who each threw complete games.

In the later innings the Roadrunners put the ball in play and reaped the benefits. Mt. Abram (3-4) caught a break when Werzanski walked to lead off the eighth, advanced on a groundout by Taylor Henderson and again on a passed ball. McCafferty then had a good at-bat, working the count to 3-2 before drilling the ball into short center.

“This feels really good,” Mt. Abram coach Jeff Pillsbury said. “It’s our third one-run game and we had lost two in extra innings. Molly did a great job of hitting and was especially effective striking out their fourth batter in the eighth with a change-up that my catcher (Dani Smith) called.”

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Mountain Valley had taken a 2-1 lead on a RBI-triple by Kristin Ridge in the bottom of the sixth inning. Hannah LaPointe walked with two outs and Ridge hit a bomb to the right-centerfield gap.

The lead proved to be short-lived. Mt. Abram tied it up on a bizarre play. Jill Howard led off the seventh with a walk, stole second and advanced on Taylor Jordan’s ground out. Falcons assistant coach Gary Dolloff called time to set up a defensive play, and it almost worked. Third baseman Brooke Dolloff raced in to snare Mt. Abram batter Tori Beane’s bunt and faked a throw to first. Howard retreated toward third. LaPointe, the Mountain Valley shortstop, had roamed over to cover, but her throw toward the plate hit Dolloff, who had failed to clear the base line.

“We hadn’t been in that situation before,’’ Mountain Valley coach Brian Mills said. “But walks really hurt us in the last two innings. It allowed Mt. Abram to get runners on base and get things in motion. It then created a snowball effect.”

The drama wasn’t over. Chrissy Briggs singled leading off the bottom of the eighth, but pinch runner Nicole Burgess was picked off on an attempted bunt. LaPointe reached on a bad hop with two outs, but McCafferty struck out Ridge to end the game.

“Mountain Valley certainly gave us all we could handle,” Pillsbury said. “They made the plays when they needed to in the game. I thought we made a couple errors at the wrong time, but we are just getting every body back and it will help get the team rolling.”

The Falcons drew first blood when Briggs singled with two outs in the first, moved up on a wild pitch and raced home on Dolloff’s single. In the second inning, Howard walked and scored an unearned run to tie the game.

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