DIXFIELD — Alexa Perreault had a “pretty perfect” ending to her final game at Sally Clark Field.

The Dirigo senior connected on a two-out hit in the bottom of the seventh inning, and she didn’t stop running until she slid under a tag attempt at home to give the Cougars a 2-1 walk-off win over Spruce Mountain in a Class C South first-round softball matchup Tuesday.

“It’s amazing. It’ll probably be something I remember forever, and it’s just really good to have done it here,” Perreault said.

Getting a hit was an accomplishment in itself for Perreault and the eighth-seeded Cougars (8-9), who were held hitless by ninth-seeded Phoenix (3-12) senior pitcher Hannah Turcotte until there were two outs in the fourth. The first hit, a double by Allie Dyke, came after Turcotte picked up her sixth and seventh strikeouts of the game, which included striking out the first four Dirigo hitters.

“When our first four batters got up and all struck out, I was worried because not many of us were connecting,” Perreault said. “But as the game went on we adjusted better and things got good.”

Dirigo coach Tanya Perreault said her team had better luck against Turcotte when they faced her early in the regular season, but her pitches were faster Tuesday.

“We had to time her up,” Tanya Perreault said. “I think we got a lot going when we started playing some small ball and got some base runners. That certainly pumped up the team.”

After a lead-off error on a grounder to start the bottom of the fifth, the Cougars put down three straight bunts, with Kailey Hackett getting a single out of her bunt to put runners on first and second, and Alyvia Perreault’s bunt leading to an error that scored Emma MacFarlane. Grace Robbins also got on via a bunt to load the bases, but Turcotte got out of the inning with a strikeout, a pop-up and a groundout.

“That was huge,” Phoenix coach Lisa Dube said. “They had them loaded up, I don’t think any outs, and they scored the run on a mistake, and then we got out of that inning. And I think that was a momentum (shift) for us, to get out only giving up one. And then to come back and get the game tied.”

The Phoenix had more luck hitting the ball against Robbins, Dirigo’s sophomore starting pitcher, but struggled to convert their contact into runs. Leadoff hitter Jaydn Pingree was left stranded at third in the first inning, Jazmine Pingree was stranded at second in the second, and Abby Ortiz and Ryleigh Castonguay were stuck and second and third in the third. Leah Burgess led off the fourth with a single but only advanced as far as second.

“Grace has done a wonderful job in the circle today,” Tanya Perreault said. “She’s a sophomore. Obviously missing her freshman year in the circle was a worry, coming up to high school. But she has played it cool. She does have a strong catcher (Alexa Perreault) behind her to call the pitches, but she hits every target and she perseveres and she’s doing a wonderful job.”

Robbins was one out away from securing a shutout victory in the top of the seventh, but with two outs, Jaydn Pingree slapped a single past second base to bring home Emma Towers from second for the tying run.

Turcotte quickly picked up her 10th and 11th strikeouts to get to two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Perreault’s single to left field fell in front of Castonguay — who Dube said “went 100 percent” like she wanted — and the ball went past her. Perreault rounded second and went for third. A throw to third was off-target, and Perreault headed home, thinking “that I need to go faster so that I don’t get out, and no matter what I’m sliding.”

“This is the second time that Alexa has done this for us, with a walk-off (play), so if I had anybody up to bat with two outs, with game-winning (situation), that’s who I want there,” Tanya Perreault said. “So I knew she could do it, it was just a matter of executing, and she certainly did.”

The Phoenix had been in the same situation before as well, and with the same result.

“It’s kind of been the way our season’s gone,” Dube said. “We’ve had like four, I think, walk-off losses. It’s a young club. We’ll be all right.”

The Cougars advance to face No. 1 Hall-Dale in the regional quarterfinals.

Dube said the outcome is a “pretty emotional loss” for the Phoenix.

It also is the end of the high school careers of Turcotte and her catcher, Ortiz. Turcotte’s gem, which Dube said she’s had a lot of this season, included 11 strikeouts, three walks and three hits.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. 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.