STANDISH — Fryeburg Academy softball coach Fred Apt told his team on the drive to Tuesday’s Class B South regional final against Wells that they hadn’t made things easy all year — neither for themselves nor their opponents.

The game that followed was anything but easy, but for the Raiders, it was a win nonetheless.

Fryeburg scored four runs in the top of the seventh on six straight singles to come from behind and beat the top-seeded Warriors, 6-5, at Richard W. Bailey Field on the campus of Saint Joseph’s College.

Things — both good and bad — came in threes for the No. 3 Raiders (16-3). They went the first three innings of the game without a hit or even a baserunner against Wells (17-2) pitcher Anya Chase. In the top of the fourth, three base runners — consecutive singles by Mackenzie Buzzell and Tina LeBlanc to lead off and a Makayla Cooper grounder that turned into an error — led to two runs and a 2-0 lead for the Raiders.

Chase got her revenge against Fryeburg and its senior pitcher, Nicole Bennett, in the bottom of the fifth. The third batter of the inning, Chase tripled in Cassandra Haye and Natalie Thurber — who hit consecutive singles to lead off — to tie the game 2-2. The Warriors added three more runs thanks to three more hits against Bennett.

Chase tripled again in the sixth, but was left stranded, setting up a three-run deficit for the Raiders with three outs left in their season.


“Towards the end I think, because we’re such a young team, a lot of them were not nervous, but I think that it was definitely (in their minds),” Bennett said.

Bennett, who said she didn’t have nerves, led off with a single up the middle against Chase, just the third hit of the game against the Wells pitcher. Pinch runner Alexandria Fraize moved to second on a wild pitch, then scored on Cooper’s single that followed. Kaylee Emery singled up the middle as well, but Cooper was gunned down trying to get to third, giving the Raiders just two outs to score two runs to potentially tie the game.

“When I got Coop thrown out at third I was kind of upset with myself,” Apt said.

The out ended up not hurting the Raiders. Paige O’Connell, Brooke Juneau and Chloe Coen all singled off Chase to put Fryeburg ahead.

“It’s been Buzzell, Cooper and Bennett all year. As they go, we go, and I didn’t expect … two freshman in a row, with Kaylee Emery and Paige O’Connell coming up big with hits. Putting the ball in play and forcing things,” Apt said. “Chloe coming up big in that inning. Doesn’t hit a lot. She gets on, she finds her way on, and that time there she came up big.”

“They just started to hit us,” Wells coach Kevin Fox said. “They did a good job of not giving up, and they got their bats going, and they just kind of put it where we weren’t. What are you going to do?”


The Warriors put up a fight in the bottom of the frame. Samantha Bogue led off by reaching on an error. However, Bennett corralled a Sara Ring grounder and was able to throw Bogue out at second. Karissa Kenyon put a grounder in the same spot and Bennett got the same out to get within one out of a win. But Olivia Durfee singled past second, putting Kenyon at third. The Raiders then let Durfee move freely to second, putting the winning run in scoring position.

Hannah Moody battled with Bennett, getting to a 3-2 count before Bennett struck her out looking to end the game.

“I threw it on an inside. All the foul balls she fouled off I had thrown outside, and that last one I threw inside,” Bennett said. “As soon as it came out my hand I knew it was a strike.

“It feels awesome. It’s a good way to end the game.”

Fryeburg Academy, which handed Wells its only two losses of the season, will face North regional champion Old Town on Saturday at Bailey Field.

Softball on white
Softball ball isolated on white background
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Softball ball isolated on white background

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