Edward Little assistant Gene Keene speaks with catcher Jordan Cummings before she goes to bat in the seventh inning of a Class A North quarterfinal in Auburn on Tuesday. Cummings smacked an RBI double to bring in the Red Eddies’ second run. Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi

AUBURN — Edward Little wasn’t going to let it go, but Messalonskee has been here before with the Red Eddies and braced itself for another close game.

It appeared the Eagles had it wrapped up with a three-run lead after five innings, but the headstrong No. 4 Red Eddies inched back with a run apiece in the sixth and seventh innings before No. 5 Messalonskee escaped with a 3-2 victory in a Class A North softball game at Sweetser Field on Tuesday.

Messalonskee’s Ava Ardito begins a slide as Edward Little catcher Jordan Cummings waves off the throw in the fourth inning of a Class A North quarterfinal at Sweetser Field in Auburn on Tuesday Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi

“I think today we came prepared to stay positive the whole game, and that’s one thing we have been really working,” winning pitcher Danielle Hall (nine strikeouts) said. “I think that helped us get past that at the very end.

“We made the plays we needed to and capitalized on their errors. They are tough. They are always tough and they were tough last time, so we knew what to expect.”

The seventh inning put the Eagles on edge with two outs after Hall struck out the first two batters. EL senior outfielder Olivia Lare got on after being hit by a pitch and raced home on junior Jordan Cummings’ RBI double to bring the Red Eddies within one run of the Eagles at 3-2.

The game and EL’s playoff run ended when Caroline Hammond popped out to the catcher.

After falling behind 3-0, the Red Eddies finally pushed a run across in the sixth inning. Madison Emmert singled and was nearly thrown out at first base after Alexis Downs flied out. Emmert raced back to first base, but errant throw allowed her to move to third. Emmert came home when junior Chantel Ouellette got on after an error at shortstop.

“We wanted to show that we could fight,” Edward Little coach Elaine Derosby said. “We played 7-6 last time (during the regular season) — both teams living on the edge and it came down to one more at-bat. But they made all the plays.

Messalonskee winning pitcher Danielle Hall goes into her wind-up against Edward Little in a Class A North quarterfinal at Sweetser Field in Auburn on Tuesday. Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi

“They found a little space in one inning, and that’s what it comes down to. They are softball players. They play multiple sports, but they play a lot of softball.

“But I give my kids so much credit. We have had an emotional year. They are just family and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

With the backing of strong pitching from Hall, the Eagles found way to use some timely hitting in the third inning against Ouellette, who also went the distance in the circle.

Kirsten Dube and Taylor Bangor each singled with two outs for Messalonskee. The pair immediately came home when Leah Smith’s single got by an EL outfielder, allowing her to end up third as the Eagles took a 2-0 advantage.

Edward Little pitcher Chantel Ouellette tosses a pitch against a Messalonskee batter in a Class A North quarterfinal in Auburn on Tuesday. Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi

“I think our whole season has been building to this … and I think this will take us through playoffs,” Messalonskee coach Samantha Moore said. “(Hall) is reliable and consistent and she has her team behind her. She is not afraid to make those pitches. That helps knowing she has a strong team.

“I am so excited. I hope we get to see Skowhegan again.” 

The Eagles got another run in the fourth inning when Ava Ardito got on with an error at first base and scored on Brooke Martin’s RBI single.

It as pitchers’ duel to the end, as Hall gave up just five hits and Ouellette allowed only seven.

Messalonskee’s Alyssa Genness trys to contain the ball as Edward Little’s Caroline Hammond slides into second base in a Class A North preliminary at Sweetser Field in Auburn on Tuesday. Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi


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