BREWER – It was an inning in which just about everything went wrong for the Telstar softball team.

Still, the Rebels followed that up with a frame in which almost everything went right. It was nearly enough to produce a thrilling comeback, but Calais managed to hold off Telstar in the final inning. The Blue Devil’s five runs in the sixth proved to be enough in an 8-6 win in the Class C state championship game at Coffin Field Wednesday.

“What a nice job they did,” said Telstar coach Jim Lunney of his teams three runs in the seventh. “What a nice rally. We had runners at first and third that could fly. We had Hannah (Morin) up. She can hit a gap shot. I’m very pleased. I’m really proud of these kids. They battled.” It was the first softball state championship win for the Blue Devils (18-0). Calais lost to Georges Valley in the state game last year.

“It’s awesome,” said senior third baseman Toni Cole. “Being a Blue Devil at Calais High School, there’s a lot of pride in that. Being a senior this year, it’s a great way to leave our mark on the school. We’re just so proud of our team. When we’re adults and our kids go to Calais High School, we can say we were the first ones to do it.” Calais broke open a 3-3 game with five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. It was a disastrous inning for the Rebels (16-2). Telstar was plague by bad weather, a delay in the game, passed balls and two errors in the field.

“We had one bad inning and that hurt us,” said Lunney. “It got a little bit wet. Candace (Hall) was a little off. I think the wet ball bothered her. We had a couple errors.” Down 8-3 in the top of the seventh with the bottom of the order up, the Rebels appeared doomed, but Telstar quickly put a scare into the Calais championship hopes. Lindsey James sparked the rally with a one-out single. After Calais got the second out, Whitney Mills reached on an error and Hall walked to load the bases. Kayla Merrill followed with a two-run double. Merrill finished the game with three hits and four RBI.

“I was hitting my spots but they were hitting the ball where I pitched it,” said Calais pitcher Tessa Clark, who scattered eight Telstar hits.

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T.J. Cowin followed with a single that plated Hall to make it 8-6. Telstar had runners on first and third and Morin, the No. 5 batter at the plate. She hit a bouncer back to the mound that Clark fielded cleanly and relayed to first for the final out.

“I was hoping that they just couldn’t string enough hits together, and that we’d make the routine plays when we needed to, ” said Calais coach Greg Smith. “We got the two quick outs, and those helped us. You’ve got to have a little luck and have the ball bounce the right way. We’re fortunate because that’s a good team.” The game that had been delayed by weather for days started under sunny skies, but the weather became a factor in the sixth. With Calais up in the bottom of the inning and the game tied, the skies opened and a downpour began. The field had already had three tons of Turface spread on it this week, but the field quickly deteriorated under the heavy downpour. After Cole, the leadoff hitter, drew a walk, the game was stopped for about 25 minutes. When the rain subsided briefly, the game resumed, even though puddles were forming around home plate, first base and in foul territory. The Rebels seemed to struggle in the wet conditions. Nicole Osborne, who led the Calais 10-attack with three hits, singled. Cole eventually scored on a passed ball. After the second walk in the inning, a Shannon Brown dribbler back to the mound was thrown away, allowing Honor Wilkinson to score making it 5-3. Lara Marshall followed with an RBI single. Calais then made it 8-3 on a Courtney Hill single and error in center that plated two runs.

“The rain didn’t help at all,” said Lunney. “It didn’t help Candace. The ball was a little bit wet and stuff.” The Rebels had already rallied from behind once in the game. Calais got two in the first inning when Osborne singled in a pair. Then an Alex McVicar singled and error made it 3-0 in the second. Telstar erased the lead with three in the third. Merrill doubled in two and later scored on a Cowin single and error.

“We battled back twice,” said Lunney. “Right at the end, we had first and third, it would have been nice to get a long fly ball or something, but their pitcher snared it. We had a good year.”


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