May 15—LEWISTON — After losing two nail-biters earlier this week, the Lewiston softball team was in another close game Friday.
This time, the Blue Devils made the clutch plays and beat Mt. Ararat 3-2 in eight innings.
Such late-innings fortune wasn't on their side in previous games, an 8-7 loss to Brunswick on Monday and a 7-6 setback to rival Edward Little on Wednesday.
"Our last two games, we lost in the final inning — the eighth inning in Brunswick and in the seventh inning at EL," Lewiston coach Ryan Cormier said. "I told the girls, 'This is our time, but you guys want to want it, you guys want to fight for it.' Both pitchers did a wonderful job. I just asked my girls to string things together, move base runners, and do our thing."
The Blue Devils entered the bottom of the seventh inning facing a 2-1 deficit and a pitcher, Megan Reed, who had retired nine in a row for Mt. Ararat.
Reed got Lewiston's Skylar Gelinas to ground out to start the bottom of the seventh. Abby Chartier, who had a couple of long at-bats in previous plate appearances, singled to left field. After a Bella Miller strikeout, Ahna Dostie came to the plate with two outs. The eighth hitter in the Blue Devils' lineup belted a triple to deep right field that scored Chartier and tied the game a 2-2.
Dostie had struck out twice earlier in Friday's game. She hit the reset button for the crucial seventh-inning at-bat.
"I really like pressure, for some reason," Dostie said. "I really work well under pressure, and that felt really good. Striking out the first two times was definitely scary. Every at-bat is a new at-bat; you shouldn't (look back) at the last one, but look (forward) to the next one."
Reed ended the inning with her 10th and final strikeout. The game then headed to extra innings.
"Megan was on fire today, I was proud of her," Mt. Ararat coach Jim Field said.
Reagan Robertson, the Eagles' ninth batter, beat a throw from the third base for an infield single to start the top of the eighth inning, but then Lewiston starting pitcher Isabella Cormier recorded three straight outs.
The top of the Blue Devils' (4-5) order come to bat in the bottom of the eighth. Leadoff hitter Brooklyn Mynahan flew out to center field. Then Charlotte Cloutier was initially ruled out first, but Ryan Cormier left the dugout and asked the umpires to confer, and the home plate umpire overturned the call.
"Both umpires did a wonderful job tonight, and when they made that safe call, our dugout erupted, and I think that was the extra burst we needed," Ryan Cormier said.
It was the second time Cormier asked the umpires to get together to verify a call. In the top of the eighth, he wanted to check if Robertson did beat the throw to first.
Lewiston's next batter, Gemma Landry reached on an error, and Cloutier moved to second base. Morgan Brown hit a fly ball right field that was dropped by the right fielder. Cloutier tried to score from second but was thrown out at the plate.
Gelinas played the role of hero for Lewiston with a two-out single — the Blue Devils' eighth hit of the day — to center field scored Landry for the winning run.
"All that was in my head was to make contact and get it through the infield," Gelinas said.
Lewiston opened the game strong. Landry's double in the bottom of the first scored Mynahan, who led off the inning with a single, to give the Blue Devils an early 1-0 lead.
Mt. Ararat (2-5) tied the game with back-to-back doubles for by Jaden Lohr and Emily Wormwood in the top of the fourth. Wormwood then scored on a single by Bree Hunter to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead.
"We started timing (everything) and (the girls) started hitting (the ball)," Field said. "We tried to continue to keep going, but the bats weren't on fire today."
Isabelle Cormier struck out six and only allowed four hits in eight innings for Lewiston.