AUBURN — When Gray-New Gloucester battled back to even the score, the Poland softball team needed a quick reminder.

“Our coach was just like, you guys know you want to beat them, you know you want to be here, you know you’re passionate about the sport, so just get the ball on the bat and do it,” Knights senior center fielder Maggie McGlauflin said. “And it kind of was our switching point, and then we had that 10-run inning.”

Poland pulled away in the fourth to beat Gray-New Gloucester 15-5 in five innings in a softball opener Thursday at Central Maine Community College.

“They flipped a switch, and it was just like, game on,” Poland coach Kat Meader said.

The Knights’ first five batters of the game reached base and scored to give them a 5-0 lead in the top of the first.

The Patriots chipped away at the early deficit, scoring two runs in the bottom the first, one in the second and two in the third to tie the game at 5-5.


“The thing that is very positive is the kids didn’t lay down, they battled back and tied that game,” first-year Gray-New Gloucester coach Gene Keene said.

The Patriots’ third inning was aided by several Poland errors. In between the third and fourth, Meader had a quick chat with the Knights.

“Right before they went up to bat, I asked what more I could do to get them fired up, because they needed energy in the dugout,” Meader said. “And we know how important that energy is, and it’s clear that they feed off of that, so that had to do with everyone up to bat but also everyone in the dugout that was cheering everyone on.”

Gray-New Gloucester freshman starting pitcher Audrey Getchell retired two of the first three batters in the top of the fourth, but McGlauflin reached on an infield single and Gretchyn Paradis walked to load the bases for Nicole Rioux, who broke the tie with a two-run single that jump-started the 10-run inning.

Alyssa Hart contributed a two-run triple in the frame, then McGlauflin added another two-run triple the second time she came to bat in the fourth to cap the scoring and give the Knights a 15-5 lead.

“I think we just had to turn on a switch, which we did, and I just think we got serious about the game,” McGlauflin said.


McGlauflin finished 4 for 4 at the plate, with three singles and a triple. She drove in two runs and scored three.

“I just had a good day. I just felt good,” she said.

Paradis, Poland’s starting pitcher, held the Patriots scoreless in the next two innings, striking out three in the fourth and then setting Gray-NG down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fifth to wrap up the victory and earn the win.

Paradis fanned 11 and held the Patriots to three hits in five innings. She did allow seven walks, but had more command as the game went on. Five of her seven strikeouts came in the final two innings.

Thursday was Paradis’ first game as Poland’s top starter, after the graduation of last year’s ace, Atlantis Martin.

“Gretchyn is taking over a big role,” Meader said. “Last year she closed seven games, I believe, and this year she’s coming in as the starter, but that adjustment could be a little bit for her. But it’s nice that offensively we were able to help her out and relieve some of that offensive pressure from her when she was in the circle.”


Catcher Olivia Rioux also had a triple for Poland, and Nicole Rioux drove in three runs.

Getchell took the loss for Gray-NG. She was one of five freshmen playing in the first game of their high school career.

Keene acknowledged the Patriots’ youth, but doesn’t want it to be an excuse.

“We’re working hard to get better,” he said. “Those freshmen just have to grow up, because they have to play. And that’s our expectation, that they’re going to grow up every day that they go to practice, they’re going to grow up every day we play a game.

“We’re going to maybe have some innings like that (10-run fourth), but the idea is to get better by the end of the year.”

Ervena Belcher, Maisie Lerette and Ashley Lang had hits for Gray-New Gloucester.

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