LEWISTON – Maria Labbe knew full well the pitch was a bit high and outside. That didn’t matter to the Lewiston catcher. She was swinging anyway.

“I’m a sucker for the high pitch,” said Labbe.

She subsequently delivered a two-out single, platting two runs in a 3-2 victory over Edward Little in softball action Thursday.

The ability to escape threats and deliver in the clutch proved to be the difference for Lewiston. EL had nearly ended the second inning unscathed, but Labbe’s hit built a 3-0 lead. When EL put the pressure on in various innings, the Blue Devils eluded damage, escaping threats in four different innings. That was after losing starting third baseman Robyn Kennedy, who was injured during warm-ups.

“I’m very proud of the team’s defensive play,” said Lewiston coach Fred Royer. “We had that pregame injury, and freshman Patricia Defosse filled in admirably.

EL (0-5) produced nine hits but stranded eight runners.

“We’ve been leaving a lot of runners on base every game,” said EL coach Elaine Keene, who has four sophomores, two freshman and just two regular starters returning. “We’ve also been giving up a lot of unearned runs. Today, we buckled down on that. With a young group, we’ve got to go one step at a time.”

After an 0-3 start, it was the second straight win for the Blue Devils (2-3).

“It’s a good turning point for us,” said Labbe. “We were down when we were 0-3, but now we’ve comeback with two wins in a row. We’ve got the momentum going.”

Labbe was the only repeat hitter for Lewiston while Danielle Willey struck out nine. Alyssa Levesque, Megan Hussar and Alice Read each had two hits for EL.

The Red Eddies threatened from the outset, putting Levesque and Jenna Dubois on base with no outs in the first. Willey escaped the jam with a strikeout and two infield outs.

“That first inning was very shaky for us,” said Royer. “To get out of that first inning was a big boost.”

Instead, it was Lewiston scoring first. Labbe doubled home Carly Denis. Then in the second, a walk, single and a hit batter loaded the bases for Lewiston. Levesque got a strikeout and a pop out, and she had two strikes on Labbe, before the two-run single.

“Just the way she held the ball, I knew she was going to throw a change-up,” said Labbe. “So I just tried to time it up right.”

EL got one run in the top of the third when Tonya Cole singled in Levesque. The Red Eddies had Hussar and Read on to start the fourth, but Willey produced a strikeout and two balls hit back to her.

EL’s biggest threat came in the sixth. After Kayla Cummings walked, Hussar delivered a double. The Red Eddies later had second and third with one out, but Willey got a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.

“Danielle pitched a real solid game and got us the outs when we needed it,” said Royer.

It was still a good outing for EL, which lost Angie Hilton, one of the team’s top hitters, to a broken leg in the preseason. Catcher Becca Witten is just returning from injury

“We’ve had a rough spring,” said Keene. “We’ve taken our lumps. We were down three starters Saturday and (Wednesday), but they’ve just been giving it their all. Today, they did absolutely everything. There’s nothing I can say bad. They can’t give anymore than what they did.”

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