FRYEBURG – There’s something about the second week of June. Those mistakes that a good softball team didn’t make all season suddenly happen.

Sometimes, all at once.

Every run was unearned Monday afternoon, when No. 4 Greely High School avenged one of its two regular-season defeats by ousting No. 1 Fryeburg Academy, 6-1, in a Western Class B semifinal.

Greely (13-5) scored three runs in the first inning without the benefit of a base hit. The Rangers added another run in the third and two in the sixth in support of junior hurler Krissey Taplin, who didn’t let Fryeburg cross the plate until there were two outs in the seventh.

“We talked a lot about experience. We’ve played in these kind of games before,” said Greely coach Jim Seavey. “We have two seniors and a lot of juniors who have been with me since freshman year.”

Tournament fixture Greely chases its first regional championship since 2002 tonight at St. Joseph’s College in Standish against third-seeded Cape Elizabeth.

Western Maine Conference champion Fryeburg (16-2) was undone by four errors, four walks and five passed balls, a stark contrast to its 2-0 victory over Greely in the second week of the regular season.

Sophomore Hannah Hill threw a no-hitter and also belted a home run that day. She’s been almost as untouchable on the mound since Fryeburg’s late-season loss to rival Lake Region, allowing a total of five hits and striking out 23 in three straight shutouts.

“She was one walk away from a perfect game and had 12 strikeouts the first time,” Seavey said. “We wanted to put the ball in play and force the defense to get us out.”

Hill also fanned a dozen in the rematch, but the Raiders never found the cure for their rash of first-inning miscues. The hard-throwing right-hander allowed only three singles.

“These kids felt a lot of pressure,” said Fryeburg coach Fred Apt. “We had a long winning streak there for a while, and I think the girls put a lot of pressure on themselves that they didn’t need to.”

Greely tightened the clamps from the first pitch. Erika Zambello drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on Janna Luksha’s sacrifice bunt. Zambello scored on a grounder by Jenna Valente that forced a throwing error.

Isabel Pisini eyeballed the Rangers’ second free pass of the frame. Courtesy runner Marika Stayte, subbing for Valente, went to third on a wild pitch before Pisini stole second. Both scored when a late throw on Catherine Hutchins’ squeeze bunt sailed to the backstop.

That was ample support for Taplin, who couldn’t match Hill’s heat but still struck out eight while scattering four hits.

“When Krissey hits her spots, she is very effective,” Seavey said. “That was a lot of strikeouts for her. We usually have to make 15 or 16 plays behind her.”

Another leadoff walk, this time to Valente, led to a run in the fourth. Stayte entered the game again and circled the bags on a passed ball, Hutchins’ sacrifice and an infield throwing error.

Victoria Pisini reached on a dropped third strike to trigger a two-run rally in the sixth.

Fryeburg broke up the shutout with singles by Heather Tripp and Jacqui Bell sandwiched around an error.

“They started on us early, and we just couldn’t recover,” Apt said. “It was a great season. It’s one step further than we went last year.”

Dani Hill, the lone senior in the starting lineup, went 2-for-3 to lead the Raiders.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.