With the softball game tied Wednesday afternoon, Lewiston threatened to open the lead again with the bases loaded. When Meagan Gosselin’s hit toward right field appeared like it might drive in some runs, Edward Little’s Molly Murray roamed over from second and made a diving play on the ball. She calmly gathered it up and threw to first for the final out.

“I thought it was going to go through, but I was like, ‘Just throw yourself at it and see if you can get it,'” said Murray, who was the starting keeper on EL’s soccer team that won a regional title last fall. “I kind of landed on it.”

Murray followed that crucial save by keying a big inning at the plate for EL. The Red Eddies scored four runs in the fifth that held up in a 7-3 win over the Blue Devils in the season-opener.

“It made me feel a little more relaxed from there because they’d had three runners on,” Murray said. “That made me feel like we had some of it behind us.”

Murray also finished with two hits and two RBIs. Taylor Depot had two hits and drove in a run while Jordyn Reynolds scored twice and delivered a solo home run. Pitcher Sarah Hammond was solid, scattering six hits and blanking Lewiston over the final four innings. Because Hammond got the start, Murray was debuting at second.

“It’s a toss-up between her and Molly right now,” EL coach Elaine Derosby said. “We wanted to try Sarah. She ended last year really well and wanted to jump on that. We wanted to see where Molly could play in the field. That seemed to work out for us.”

Gosselin led Lewiston with a hit, an RBI and a run scored. Starting pitcher Jordan Mynahan allowed six hits and seven runs in four-plus innings. Makayla Girouard finished in relief, allowing no hits or runs over the final two-plus innings.

“The fifth inning, we had those two errors that really hurt us,” Lewiston coach Erica Crowley said. “It took us a little bit of time to come out of that. I think we recovered after that inning well. After that fifth, they didn’t score any runs. We came back and held our ground after that.”

Down 3-1 early, EL tied the game in the top of the fourth. Reynolds hit her solo homer to deep center. Murray singled in Depot to tie it 3-3.

In the bottom of the fourth, Lewiston threatened to retake the lead. Lauren Belleau reached on a fielder’s choice and Emily Mousseau and Courtney Marquis followed with two-out singles to load the bases. Gosselin came up and drilled a sharp hit toward right, but Murray managed to make the play to her left to end the inning and preserve the tie.

“Who knows what happens there,” Crowley said. “It’s a matter of working on making sure we come through in those big moments. We’re a young squad. We had like six freshmen in the field at one time. I think it’s just getting into the groove of things and finding our strengths and capitalizing on them.”

EL broke the lead open in the fifth. After a walk to Hannah Smith and an error on an Emmy Lashua hit and a walk to Reynolds loaded the bases. Depot followed with a sacrifice fly to break the tie. An error on a Hammond bunt allowed Lashua to score to make it 5-3. Murray followed with a single that plated Reynolds. Murray later scored on a wild pitch.

Derosby says she’s normally let small ball be the fuel to her team’s offense but with so many quality hitters in the lineup, she wanted to give them a chance. As the game went on, she let the Red Eddies get away from small ball. EL managed to get some hits and used some smart base running that took advantage of Lewiston mistakes.

“I let them play and let them swing the bat,” Dersoby said. “We have great base runners that are very instinctive. Our young kids, they know how to run the bases and take the extra base, and our bats really came through.”

Down 7-3, Lewiston only got a double from Dani Cyr the rest of the game. She was stranded at second.

“EL’s a really good base running team, and they capitalized on those two errors,”  said Crowley, whose team finished with five errors. “That’s what really hurt us.”

Lewiston took the early lead in the second when Lexi Poulin walked and came around on an EL error. EL tied it in the top of the third when Hannah Smith’s sacrifice fly plated Calli Murray. In the bottom of the inning, Gosselin singled with two outs to scored Belleau. Then Gosselin came around on an error on a Poulin hit to third.

“I was a little nervous but we knew we had to lock it down and bring ourselves in and pull ourselves back like we can,” Murray.

EL had two errors in the second and one in the third. After that, the Red Eddies didn’t make a mistake in the field.

“This is the one time we’re going to say that we’re young because our infield is all new starters,” Derosby said. “This is the one time that it can be an excuse. We started the game a little on edge.

“It’s a tribute to Lewiston and how their kids came out ready to go and made us make plays. They put the ball in play. We had to do things and they made us think. Once we got through the first couple of innings, we settled in and our defense took care of it.”

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