DIXFIELD — Lana Waite helped her own cause in getting Dirigo the win in Thursday’s Class C South softball quarterfinal.

The Dirigo pitcher had three doubles to spark the Cougars’ offense in an 11-3 victory over Sacopee Valley.

“I was honestly swinging at either the first pitch or the closest pitch that I thought I could get my bat around,” Waite said.

Waite also drove in a run.

In the circle, she scattered five hits and secured eight strikeouts.

“They were definitely good hitters, it wasn’t easy,” Waite said. “It was fun for me because it was more of a challenge to prepare for (our next opponent) Hall-Dale. They had their third or fourth hitter who had a home run on me, she’s a great hitter.”


The fourth-seeded Cougars (13-4) will take on top-seeded Hall-Dale (15-2) in a regional semifinal scheduled for Saturday.

Dirigo coach Scott Robbins said getting a playoff win under their belt is important for the program going forward.

“Its huge for us. We are a young team, and to win a playoff game knowing literally our whole team is back again next year is huge,” Robbins said. “We have the juggernaut of Hall-Dale next, we know what that is, but it’s good experience to do this now and get to play in a regional semi.”

Brianna Eastman got the fifth-seeded Hawks (8-9) on the board in the top of the first inning when she sent a pitch that was over the plate over the fence in left field for a home run and a 1-0 lead.

“She’s a very special player, lots of talent, lots of potential,” Sacopee Valley coach Grace Sanborn said. “We are lucky to have her for one more year after this. She’s unstoppable, honestly.”

Robbins said they knew how dangerous Eastman was.


“We knew she was a good hitter, but with nobody on, we took our chances,” Robbins said. “My pitcher was even like you have to tip your cap sometimes, she put a swing on it.”

Dirigo put a five-spot on the board in the bottom of the first, starting when Waite doubled home Emily Woods to tie the game at 1-1. Aleiah Ward single to get on. A throwing error allowed Abby Luczynski to reach second and score Waite and Ward for a 3-1 lead.

Hannah Hamner — who finished with a game-high four hits —and Layla Merrill each had an RBI double for the Cougars for a 5-1 lead.

“Our girls didn’t wobble,” Robbins said. “The game at first seemed like our bats are going and then they got their bats going to cut it close. It was a very good softball game.”

Dirigo had a chance to score a run in the bottom of the second but Waite got caught in a rundown on a double steal trying to reach home.

Eastman sparked Sacopee Valley’s offense again in the top of the third when she doubled home Lindsay Fox.


Hannah Libby pinch-ran for Eastman and scored when she stole third and the throw was off-target, allowing her to scamper home.

Waite had a leadoff double in the bottom of the fourth, Keira Reny walked and Hamner singled to load the bases, but a pop up to the shortstop ended the inning.

Waite got an important 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fifth, with Eastman on deck with two outs.

“Our bats weren’t alive like typically they are,” Sanborn said. “This a great group of girls with lots and lots of talent, but Dirigo also had some great hitters. They were hitting in the gaps and sometimes there’s nothing you can do about that. I am super proud of how my girls played, and Dirigo is a great team.”

Robbins said he considered walking Eastman if she got up.

“My wife keeps the book and I was looking at her: ‘What did the girl do after the girl who hit the home run?” Robbins said. “I probably would have walked her in that situation.”


Nicole Turnbull sent a line drive to deep right field with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, and she motored around the bases for an inside-the-park home run for a 6-3 lead.

“I was just swinging, and when I made contact — I am fast, so I can run the bases,” Turnbull said.

Eastman and Emma Boulanger started the sixth with back-to-back singles, then Waite got the next two batters out but loaded the bases when she walked Lea Dole. A pop out got Waite out of the jam.

Dirigo tacked on insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth when Reny, Hamner and Turnbull had RBI singles and Merrill and Alyssa Ellis each drove in a run on a fielder’s choice for an 11-3 lead.

“When the ball is hit in the infield and I still make it to first, even without an error, it feels really good, because I am pushing myself to get to first,” Turnbull said.

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