STANDISH — It didn’t come easily, but then perfection seldom does.

Second-seeded Cape Elizabeth High rallied for two runs in the top of the seventh inning to defeat top-seeded Fryeburg Academy 5-4 Wednesday afternoon in the Class B South softball final at Bailey Field at St. Joseph’s College.

The Capers remained unbeaten (20-0) when senior shortstop Julia Torre tied the game with an RBI triple to right-center and scored when the throw from the outfield rolled all the way to the Fryeburg dugout.

Fryeburg had taken a 4-3 lead with two runs in the bottom of the sixth.

The Capers, who won their first regional title since 2007, will play Winslow in the state championship game at 4 p.m. Saturday at Brewer High.

“It’s been a long time,” said Torre. “It feels good that all of our hard work has paid off to get us this far.”

The Raiders, who also lost in the 2019 regional final by one run, finished 14-4.

“They’re a great team,” said Fryeburg Academy Coach Fred Apt. “Someone’s got to lose and it was us today. But we played with them for seven innings and I’m proud of that.”

The Raiders pushed the Capers as few teams have. And when they took the lead in the bottom of the sixth, combining a bloop single behind the pitcher, two walks and two errors, it appeared they were ready to end Cape Elizabeth’s run.

But the Capers would have none of that.

“I think we pound through,” said third baseman Kat Callahan. “We fight to the end.”

“The one thing I was thinking was, ‘We got this,’ ” said Torre. “We’re a great team that brings fight no matter what, whether we’re winning by 12 or losing by 12, we always fight.”

With one out in the seventh, Esme Song doubled to left-center. Up came Torre, who drove the second pitch into the gap in right-center. Song scored easily to tie it, and as Torre ran to third, the throw from the outfield bounced through the infield untouched. Cape Elizabeth’s first-year head coach, Kristen Duross, sent Torre home with the go-ahead run.

In the bottom of the seventh, Anna Cornell struck out the first batter, then Callahan made a diving, tumbling catch of a bunt attempt by Kayrin Johnson. Callahan also caught the final out, a pop-up, and looked down to find her teammates rushing toward her in celebration.

“I will never doubt this team,” said Duross. “They’ve been playing together for a long, long time. This is a special group. I knew they would find a way. That’s what they do.”


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