Gray-New Gloucester second baseman Morgan Curtis reaches up to make a catch while shortstop Lydia Espling and Poland base runner Ally Gagne look on during Monday’s game in Poland. Sun Journal photo by Wil Kramlich

POLAND — Hosting its biggest rival, Poland came out flat in Monday’s WMC softball tilt, according to co-coaches Kayla Lyons and Kat Seeley.

But some energy eventually came in the form of the O’Leary sisters, who pitched and hit the Knights to a 5-3 victory over Gray-New Gloucester.

Kaylin O’Leary broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run triple to right field to score Shelby LaFrinea and Ally Gagne. O’Leary later scored on a wild pitch.

Poland’s Kaylin O’Leary swings for a pitch that went for a single during a win over Gray-New Gloucester in Poland on Monday. Sun Journal photo by Wil Kramlich

“That was a phenomenal hit. I think if we were at the Gray-New Gloucester field it would have been over the fence,” Lyons said. “That was textbook right there. I mean, she put it in right field, which allowed two runs to score. That really brought a lot of spirit, and you could hear the girls getting a little crazy after that.”

“That hit really helped with the energy,” Seeley added.

Older sister Karley O’Leary said she “started jumping and screaming” when her sister laced the hit off Patriots (3-4) pitcher Madison Pelletier.


“It’s the best feeling in the world. And I love doing it myself, but watching other people, especially my sister, it’s just a great feeling,” Karley O’Leary said.

While Kaylin provided the biggest hit of the game, Karley played a hand in quieting the Patriots offense. She relieved Gagne in the fourth after the Patriots scored two runs on three hits and two walks against the Knights’ (7-3) starting pitcher. O’Leary allowed two harmless hits in her first inning of work, but otherwise kept the opposing bats quiet until giving up an unearned run in the seventh.

“I think Ally pitched fine when she was in. She had a couple walks that gave up a few runs,” Lyons said. “And then Karley was a different different pitcher, they haven’t seen. Ally has thrown against Gray-New Gloucester I think almost every time we’ve played them for three years, so I think it was a good change of pace, and I think that that’s exactly what we needed in order to pull out a win today.”

Poland pitcher Karley O’Leary follows through a delivery while shortstop Chloe Tufts looks on during a game against Gray-New Gloucester in Poland on Monday. Sun Journal photo by Wil Kramlich

“I think it was just the change in speed, really,” Patriots coach Amanda Harmon said. “You know, our girls were kind of settling in and getting on their first pitcher. So it was just making that adjustment and trying to find the hole and not at somebody.”

The Knights might have come out flat, but they did score the game’s first run in the second. Gagne led off with a walk and eventually scored on Chloe Tufts’ RBI single, but Poland left the bases loaded after Pelletier ended the threat with one of her seven strikeouts.

The Patriots responded with two runs in the third. Anna Gilbert and Morgan Curtis drew walks against Gagne, then Isabelle Brindley drove them both home with a single through the right side.


Gray-New Gloucester’s Lydia Espling runs down to first base after dropping down a bunt, and Poland third baseman Emma Gagne heads for the loose ball during a game in Poland on Monday. Sun Journal photo by Wil Kramlich

“They just came out with some fire to come back around and get those runs, and hold it for a couple innings,” Harmon said.

The Knights tied it in the fourth when Karley O’Leary walked for the second of three times and scored on an error.

She had to sweat a little bit in the top of the seventh pitching against the top of the Patriots’ batting order. Alexa Thayer led off by reaching on an error and moved to third on a pair of ground outs before coming home on an errant throw. But one final ground out ended the game.

O’Leary said she had “a little bit” of nerves, “but I have trust in my team and myself, so not that much.”

Gray-New Gloucester’s Alexa Thayer slides into home ahead of a throw by Poland third baseman Emma Gagne while Isabelle Brindley (foreground) looks on during a game in Poland on Monday. Sun Journal photo by Wil Kramlich

Gray-New Gloucester pitcher Madison Pelletier spins a delivery while left fielder Amelia Chase and shortstop Lydia Espling look on during Monday’s game in Poland. Sun Journal photo by Wil Kramlich

Gray-New Gloucester’s Isabelle Brindley connects for a two-run single during Monday’s game at Poland. Sun Journal photo by Wil Kramlich

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