AUBURN - The Edward Little softball team had to hit the reset button Thursday.
After a heartbreaking loss to Mt. Ararat the day before, the Red Eddies had to regroup to keep their playoff hopes alive.
"They had to put everything behind them and still remember we had a job to do to continue," said EL coach Elaine Derosby.
EL bounced back with a 7-0 win over Lewiston in its regular season finale. Now the Red Eddies (6-10) wait to see about the playoffs.
Battling for one of the final playoff spots in Eastern A, EL lost an opportunity to bolster their standing in the loss to Mt. Ararat. That made Thursday's game that much more critical. The Eagles still have two games left, with Oxford Hills and Lawrence. The Eagles were tied in the standings with EL. The win puts EL slightly ahead in ninth.
"There's three scenarios, if Oxford Hills wins (Friday against Mt. Ararat), we're definitely in," said Derosby. "If Mt. Ararat beats Lawrence next week, we're in a dead tie. If Lawrence wins, we're in."
So even though it was the last game of the regular season, EL knew it was a playoff game to give itself a chance at the postseason.
"We knew no matter what, we needed to stay in it the whole game and stay focused," said EL pitcher Kory Norcross. "We knew if we lost, it would be bad."
Norcross pitched a one-hitter and drove in three runs to lead EL to the win. Kelsey Butcher had two hits and an RBI.
"Our focus today, after yesterday, was to come out and show what we're made of," said Derosby. "We had to determine our own destiny. We needed to take care of business today so that we could help control that. They came focused and did what we asked them to do. It was a complete team effort."
Norcross struck out seven and walked just four, two of which came in the final inning. The only hit was an infield hit by Meg Mathon in the fourth.
"I made sure I got a good warm up," said Norcross, who pitched EL past Lewiston earlier in the season. "Sometimes I don't warm up enough. Last time, I walked eight. So I knew I needed a good warm up to be ready to go."
Norcross got some fine support in the field. EL had juggled the defense a bit with starting shortstop Ashlee Arnold out with an illness. Brooke Reynolds was at first while Molly Murray filled in at short.
"Molly came back today and made some huge plays at short," said Derosby, whose shortstop had some errors in the loss to Mt. Ararat. "Her team helped pick her up. They're doing a really good job picking each other up."
EL built an early lead with two runs in the first two innings. Kennedy Hubbard, who scored three runs in the game, drew walks in both early at-bats and scored. In the first, it was a Melissa Paione grounder that plated Hubbard. Then in the second, a Norcross grounder made it 2-0. Lewiston (2-13) stayed within reach. The Blue Devils got runners on when Tori Denis walked in the first and Michelle Milia reached on an error in the second, but the Blue Devils couldn't move the runners along. Lewiston had just one other base runner until two walks in the seventh.
EL padded the lead in the fourth when Norcross tripled home Hubbard and Calli Murray. Then in the fifth, Butcher doubled home Calli Murray. EL scored one in the sixth when Danny Rock scored on a double steal.
"That was a big relief," said Norcross of the insurance runs. "It was nice to see some of the younger kids come up and get big hits. It gets everyone else pumped up."