AUBURN — Gardiner’s offense exploded in the bottom in the third in a Class B South quarterfinal win against Leavitt.

The Tigers scored five runs in the frame in an 11-1, six-inning victory over the Hornets on Friday at Central Maine Community College.

“The bats finally came alive — 15 hits, I think it was today,” Gardiner coach Ryan Gero said. “Our defense has been solid all year and pitching has been solid. Now on to the next one.”

Gardiner finished with 13 hits in the game.

The No. 2 Tigers (15-2) will host No. 3 Lake Region on Saturday morning, and Gero said they are looking to play at 10:30 a.m. at Gardiner High School if field conditions allow them to.

No. 7 Leavitt’s (12-6) bats couldn’t get going in its 23rd and final game of the year, between exhibitions, regular season and playoffs games.


“You could see it coming,” Leavitt coach Kevin Leonard said. “You have to score more than one run — we just didn’t do it today. But it’s game 23 for us and it has been great. The kids have been great, and it has been a lot of fun.”

With Gardiner leading 1-0 at the start of the bottom of the third, Maddie Inman led off with a bunt single and Corinne Vasvary drove her home with a triple to center with the Hornets outfield playing in.

“We definitely feed off each other’s energy,” Vasvary said of her teammates. “Maddie and I getting on base first, getting that early lead, and helping our teammates get the energy up, so we all can do good.”

Devon Clary walked and sped to second on the play. Ray Gilbert’s ground shot went up the middle and rolled under the center field fence for a ground-rule double, scoring Vasvary and Clary.

Grace Plourde had a two-run, two-out double to left field, giving the Tigers a 6-0 lead.

The Hornets loaded the bases in the top of the fourth, as Nola Boutaugh singled and Hailey Cyr walked, followed by a Hailey Turcotte single. Sam Withee’s sacrifice fly to right field scored Boutaugh for Leavitt’s lone run.


Leavitt couldn’t seize the momentum Friday.

“We were hoping we had the momentum — we lost twice to them this year,” Leonard said. We really hoped we could play the last couple of games (in the tournament), but it didn’t happen.”

The Tigers got a run in the bottom of the fifth when Kylie Boardman’s sac fly scored Taylor Takatsu — who had a double earlier in the inning— for a 7-1 lead.

Gero said Gardiner adapted to the turf field and its dimensions at Central Maine CC.

“This is a bigger field than what we are both used to,” Gero said. “Honestly, five or six of those hits are probably home runs on any high school field. They wanted to play us shallow because in the past we have played a lot of small ball. We have been working really hard on getting our bats hot for this (playoff) run.”

Abby Albert and Turcotte had back-to-back singles with one out in the top of the sixth for the Hornets. Ashley Roy then pinch-ran for Albert. Withee flew out to Inman in the center. Inman threw a bullet to Takatsu at third to double up Roy to end the threat.


“I was pretty far over to right field, but that was a perfectly placed ball to throw,” Inman said. “I just felt it and seeing Taylor right there, I just knew.”

Inman led off the bottom of the inning with a double and scored on a Vasvary double. Vasvary and Brynnlea Chaisson later scored, extending the Tigers’ lead to 10-1. The game ended when Gilbert scored on a Kylie Boardman single to invoke the 10-run rule.

Gardiner got aggressive on the base paths early in the game. Leadoff hitter Inman had an infield single to start the bottom of the first inning off. She stole second and third on back-to-back pitches during Vasvary’s at-bat. Inman scored on a Vasvary flyout to left field for the game’s first run.

Inman got moved to the top of the lineup from the ninth hole for the playoffs.

“I was surprised, because I am usually last in the lineup because coach likes to have me in the ‘second leadoff’ of being last,” Inman said. “I have always been more confident in the first spot and when he said I was first in the lineup, I was a little excited, to say the least.”

Gero said Inman, a senior, has 68 career steals and is four away from tying the state career record.

During the bottom of the second inning, Dakota Lovely started with a single to center and moved to second and third on wild pitches. Leavitt starter Cyr got out of the inning with two strikeouts and a pop-out without any damage done.

Gardiner starting pitcher Lainey Cooley pitched all six innings, striking out nine against five hits and two walks.

“She’s very poised,” Gero said of Cooley. “She doesn’t let things get to her, and even when she had the bases loaded, she never changed her approach — she just pitches.”

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