Softball: Saints march from behind

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AUBURN — Her team has had its share of comebacks this season, but Kat McKay wasn’t sure her St. Dom’s Saints had one in them Wednesday.

Playing a tough Lisbon team, the Saints fell behind early and had little momentum going its way. McKay could tell that a rally wasn’t going to come easily against Lisbon.

“I thought honestly we were in trouble,” said McKay, whose team pounded Wiscasset Tuesday. “Lisbon was playing a great game. They helped us a lot with their errors. We weren’t swinging the bats very well, and they were hitting the ball well today.”

The Saints came to life when they needed it most, scoring four runs in the sixth inning. St. Dom’s blanked the Greyhounds in the seventh for a 6-5 win.

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“This is a big win for us,” said pitcher Hannah Sterling. “We knew we could beat this team because we beat them the first time. They’re a really good team. So it feels good for all of us.”

Lisbon built a 5-1 lead and seemed to have the game in control. The Saints got one back in the fourth and then came to life in the sixth with four runs.

“It seems like we’ve had to be the comeback kids, but today I didn’t know if we were going to come back or not,” said McKay, whose team won the first game 5-4. “Lisbon was having a real good game. Then they had one of those innings. We started inching our way back and we said ‘Maybe we can do this.'”

Lisbon was plagued by five errors. There were three occasions in the game in which a catch-able fly ball dropped between fielders because of miscommunication.

“We’ve got this issue where between the fourth and the sixth inning where we just can’t seem to keep it together,” said Lisbon coach Terri Trudell. “We’ll hit the ball well the first two or three innings, but they just can’t put the game away. That’s the way it’s been the last few games.

Amanda Turcotte, Becky Trytek and Mary Caron all had two hits and drove in a run for St. Dom’s (7-3). Bethany Fox had a hit and an RBI that plated the game-winner in the seventh.

“We’re a team that always starts off slow,” said Sterling. “So coming back is kind of what we do. It’s frustrating, but we try to keep our heads up.”

Brooke Lawrence had two hits and drove in a run while Shauna Riordan drove in a pair with a hit. Alexa Harmon also plated a run with a hit. After scoring five runs on seven hits in the first three innings, Sterling came on in relief in the fourth and allowed just one hit the rest of the way.

“Hannah came on and shut the door,” said McKay. “She’s been pretty clutch this year.”

Both teams loaded the bases in the first inning, and both only came away with one run. Lisbon got a Harmon RBI single. Dayle Jordan scored on a Turcotte hit that dropped between fielders in the outfield.

The Greyhounds (6-4) opened up the lead in the second. Lawrence singled in a run. Riordan followed with a two-run double. Then in the third, Lawrence walked with the bases loaded. Lisbon couldn’t keep that offensive production going however.

“When we need the big clutch hits in the seventh, they’re popping out or grounding out to the pitcher,” said Trudell. “It’s a matter of carrying it through from the first to the seventh inning.”

Amanda Cullen started the game for the Saints. She’s been battling an injury and is working her way back. She pitched the first three innings before Sterling came on in relief. Lisbon had just two base runners the rest of the way.

“I knew I just needed to throw strikes and trust my team behind me,” said Sterling.”

Lisbon got some solid pitching from Kimber Morse and outstanding defensive play by Kyrstin Ramich at first and Chantal Bisson at second. The Greyhounds even cut down a runner at the plate with a nice throw from Harmon to catcher Nichole Conrad in the fourth.

The Greyhounds also had three errors in the fourth, and the Saints were able to get a run when Meagan Lawrence scored on a miscue. Then in the sixth, the Saints produced three hits and took advantage of one error.

St. Dom’s loaded the bases and made it 5-3 when a Turcotte grounder was fielded. The throw came home for the force but hit Lawrence’s hand allowing her to score. Trytek, Caron and Fox all followed with RBI singles.

In the seventh, Sterling walked the first batter but put down the next three to end the game.

“That’s when I was the most nervous,” said Sterling. “I was thinking, ‘We can’t blow this.’ I knew I needed to focus.”

kmills@sunjournal.com

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