FARMINGTON — Being down early didn’t seem to affect the Mt. Blue softball team Tuesday.

The Cougars just shrugged off the early deficit and gradually worked their way back into the game.

“We knew we could come back,” sophomore outfielder Caitlin Kane said. “We’d been in that situation before.”

After rallying from behind once against Lawrence, the Cougars had to also do it in the eighth inning, rallying for two runs in the bottom of the first extra frame to top the Bulldogs, 8-7. Kane delivered a two-run single with two outs and two strikes on her.

“I was breathing pretty hard,” Kane said.

It was an important win for Mt. Blue, which had lost three straight. The Cougars (5-6) are eighth in Eastern A and trying to secure a playoff berth. Lawrence (2-8) is currently 10th, just out of reach of a tourney spot. It was the eighth consecutive loss for the Bulldogs, who started the year 2-0.

“It feels amazing,” said senior pitcher Mandi Currier, whose team went 1-14 last year. “It’s nerve-wracking. Senior year, I want to make the playoffs. I just want to win and make it worth it playing all four years.”

Kane finished with two hits and three RBI. Addie Brinkman had three hits and drove in a run. Katlyn Wells had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI. Lauren Guppy also had two hits and drove in a run.

Mt. Blue coach Charles Wallace declined comment following the win.

Lawrence got two two hits and three RBI from Sarah Chace. Paige Belanger, Sydney Knowlton, Abby King and Katie Lindsay all had two hits for the Bulldogs.

Lawrence took a 7-6 lead in the top of the eighth inning.

Lawrence coach Joey Marcoux was going to pinch-hit for Lauren Watson, but he changed his mind at the last second, trying to save a substitution for later,  just in case. Watson singled and advanced on wild pitches. She scored on an Emily McLean sacrifice fly.

“I felt the pressure,” said Currier, who allowed just two Lawrence runs over the final five innings. “It just motivates me more when you feel the pressure behind you. Your like “I don’t want to lose, especially when it’s this close in the last inning.'”

Down a run, Mt. Blue’s rally started when Destiny Nelson was hit by a pitch. After a groundout and a strikeout, the Bulldogs were nearly out of the inning. Kiana Thompson’s ground ball to second looked like it could be the final out, but the speedy senior beat the throw for an infield hit. Thompson then stole second to put runners in scoring position for Kane.

Down two strikes early in the count, Kane worked it back to 2-2 before lining a singled to the right of second base. McLean, the Lawrence second baseman, dove for it, but it was just out of her reach. Nelson and Thompson scored easily to end it.

“I was praying that it would go through,” Kane said. “I was just thinking I needed to hit it — not too hard but a base hit.”

Lawrence built an early lead with three runs in the first. Molly Moen had an RBI single and Chace doubled in a pair. Mt. Blue got one back in the second when Wells drove in Brinkman with a fielder’s choice.

Lawrence added to the lead in the third. Chace doubled in another run. Then Lindsay made it 5-1 with a fielder’s choice.

“I knew I had to just throw strikes,” Currier said, who allowed five runs and seven hits in the first three innings. “The first inning is always nerve-wracking. After that, we usually all settle in and we’re like ‘Okay, we have to play and have to win.'”

Mt. Blue tied the game in the third with four runs on five hits. Mariah Martin scored on an error. Brinkman tripled home a run and scored on a Guppy infield hit. Wells followed with an RBI double to make it 5-5.

Then in the fourth, Moesha Harrington, who made a couple of nice catches in right, singled to lead off. She later scored on a Kane single that took a hop and avoided McLean with two outs.

The Cougars were able to preserve that lead and were solid in the field. Lawrence stranded one runner in the fifth and two in the sixth. An error on a Knowlton grounder led to the tying run in the seventh. She scored on a Chace ground out to second.

“I just tried to relax,” Currier said. “You get all tensed up and it’s not good. Things don’t go the way you want it too when you get tensed up. I was trying to relax and have fun with it.”

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