Edward Little High School pitcher Chantel Ouellette makes a diving catch in front of the pitching circle for an out during Thursday’s game against Lewiston. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

AUBURN — Edward Little has found its stride just in time for the playoffs.The Red Eddies continued their win streak with a 3-1 victory over Lewiston to cap off the regular season Thursday.

Edward Little High School pitcher Chantel Ouellette (12) and first baseman Alexis Downs, left, celebrate with Jordan Cummings, right, after the Red Eddies beat Lewiston 3-1 in Auburn on Thursday. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

In the team’s fourth consecutive win, pitcher Chantel Ouellette threw seven innings of one-run ball, using off-speed pitches mixed with her stellar fastball.

“It was all about finding my groove and doing it for my teammates and everyone,” Ouellette said.

The first few innings were long for Ouellette, as she used 82 pitches to get through the first four frames. In contrast, Lewiston pitcher Gemma Landry made it through her first three innings in 40 pitches.

The Blue Devils got two runners on base in the first before Ouellette struck out Skylar Gelinas to end the inning. Ouellette struck out two in the second before running into more trouble in the third.

Two more runners reached base before Ouellette, one again, ended the inning with two strikeouts.

On the other side, Landry started her outing on fire. She didn’t give up a hit to the first seven batters she faced, and it looked as though it would continue. However, the Red Eddies found their rhythm at the plate and opened up the game in the third.

Hannah Smith hit a single into left field to get the EL offense moving. She moved to second on a single by Oliva Lare and then to third when Madison Emmert hit into a fielder’s choice.

Edward Little High School right fielder Madison Emmert catches a fly ball pitcher during Thursday’s game against Lewiston High School. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Caroline Hammond knocked in Smith with a single, and Hammond and Emmert came home after a hit from Alexis Downs to give the Red Eddies a 3-0 lead.

The Blue Devils countered in the fourth inning. After Madison Laflamme and Kallie May reached base, Landry stepped up to the plate and hit a single into center field, scoring Laflamme.

Then Charlotte Cloutier drew a walk to load the bases. It was time for Ouellette to reach down and find the last out.

“I just wanted to get a good pitch and get a ground ball because I knew my teammates had my back,” Ouellette said.

“It’s one-hitter at a time, we try to play one hitter at a time,” Edward Little assistant coach Gene Keene said. “You know what’s going to happen this game is you’re going to make some walks, make a few errors and also make some great plays.

“In that circle you have to focus on doing your job and shut out what’s happening around you and do what they can do and she does that.”

Edward Little High School second baseman Abby Russell charges a ground ball during Thursday’s game against Lewiston High School. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Ouellette struck out the final batter of the inning, her third strikeout of the frame and one of 13 on the day, and that was the last of the Lewiston offense. The Blue Devils didn’t reach base the final three innings against the junior pitcher.

“First of all, she’s a kid that’s going to challenge you, every batter,” Keene said. “She hit a little bit of a spot in the middle of the game where she didn’t quite have her stuff, but as is usually the case, she pretty much handled them in the last couple of innings.

“She’s one of the most competitive kids on the team, she’s a fighter and she works hard and she deserves all the success she is getting.”

Lewiston’s Isabelle Cormier took the mound for the final three innings and only gave up one hit, a double to Ouellette in the sixth. But the damage had already been done.

“We had our chances, but they just beared down and made the plays that they needed to,” Lewiston coach Ryan Cormier said. “Chantel pitched well and hit her spots, got us out. We were still swinging the bat at those pitches, so we were going down fighting.”

The Red Eddies (10-6) are hot at the right time, taking a four-game winning streak into the playoffs. They appear to have the fourth seed in Class A North locked down. Ouellette hopes to carry the momentum as far as possible.

Lewiston High School pitcher Gemma Landry looks to throw to first base during Thursday’s game against Edward Little High School. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

“It feels really good because we just wanted to go on a run,” Ouellette said. “We just wanted to do this for each other and this last feeling feels great. We are taking all this energy and support together into the playoffs, we just want to make a run for each other.”

Lewiston (8-8) looks to be A North’s sixth seed.

Lewiston High School first baseman Skylar Gelinas puts the tag on Edward Little High School base runner Olivia Lare for an out during Thursday’s game in Auburn. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

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