The Broncos belted out five hits and scored three runs in the first inning. That provided Hampden the kind of lift it wanted and put the Blue Devils in a hole.

“That was awesome for us,” senior first baseman Mikala Leland said. “All season, we’ve been getting behind and then having to come back in the last inning. To actually get ahead shows what we can do.”

The Broncos built the early lead and never looked back in a solid 10-1 win over Lewiston in a Class A North preliminary game. No. 10 Hampden (7-10) advances to Thursday’s quarterfinal against second-ranked Oxford Hills. The Broncos beat the Vikings 8-7 back in April.

“This is the potential they should have been playing at all along,” Hampden coach Rodney Wells said. “They’ve had the ability all along. Confidence-wise, they hadn’t gotten the confidence, yet. So I’m hoping they get rolling now.”

It was the first playoff game for Lewiston since 2011. Though the Blue Devils went 2-14 last year, Lewiston (8-9) earned the seventh seed but looked tentative in the field Tuesday. Though Hampden missed the playoffs last year, the Broncos looked far more seasoned than the Blue Devils.

“I don’t know what happened,” said Lewiston coach Mike Child. “I know they’ve never been there, and it kind of showed. I’m proud of them. Don’t get me wrong. They had a great season, but they looked flat. They shouldn’t have been like that for a playoff game. I don’t understand it.”

Advertisement

Hampden only won one of its last eight games in the regular season, but that victory was an 8-4 win at Lewiston. The Blue Devils had lost five of its last six.

“Any time you beat a team, you have confidence against them,” Wells said. “We knew what their pitcher (Megan Theriault) was like and knew what she was going to do. So we had a few days to practice for her.”

Hampden pounded out 15 hits. Leland led the offense with four hits and three RBI. Brooklynn Scott had a pair of hits and drove in three. Abby Lord also had two hits and scored three runs.

Pitcher Sydney Hatch held Lewiston to just three hits. Emily Mousseau had an infield hit in the first, but the Blue Devils didn’t get another hit until a hard single by Meagan Gosselin. She later scored on a single by Kallie May. Hatch struck out three and walked just one. Theriault struck out six and walked two.

“They hit the ball hard,” Child said. “They were all over us. I had a feeling it would be a tough game. We haven’t hit in the second half. The games we won were 3-2 or 2-1. We just couldn’t piece together a hit.”

Hampden built a quick 3-0 lead when Lord led off the game with a single. She came around on a Leland RBI single. It was the first of three runs she scored. Then Scott followed with a two-run single.

Advertisement

“I think that winning last time showed we were capable,” Leland said. “We came in here more confident than in any other game.”

Leland made it 4-0 in the second with a RBI double that plated Lord.  In the fourth, Leland singled in Lord again for a 5-0 lead. In the fifth, Natalie Sicard plated Scott with a fielder’s choice for a 6-0 lead.

Lewiston didn’t get on the board until May singled in Gosselin in the bottom of the fifth. Hampden finished the scoring with two runs in the sixth. Paige Yost plated two on a single and an error. Then Erin Mitchell hit a solo homer in the seventh.

Hampden had only one error and got some nice defensive plays in the field from Lord at second and Yost in center field.

“We’ve got five seniors on the team,” Wells said. “Once they get confident, they can really play ball.”

It was a disappointing end for the Blue Devils but a wonderful turnaround season for Lewiston. The Blue Devils were a young squad with no seniors this year but made tremendous strides. Lewiston started the season 6-2 and earned some milestone wins.

“We’re not sneaking up on anybody now,” Child said. “I’m excited already (for next year). We set the bar high. The girls will come back and be ready to play next year. We’re going to have fun. I had a blast this year. I’m very happy with this team. It was a great accomplishment to get here.”

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. 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.