WINSLOW – The same bang-bang play that results in either a run or a double play was doubly successful – offensively and defensively – for the home team here Thursday at the Eastern Maine Class B Softball championship game.
The Winslow Black Raiders executed a 1-3-2 double play to cut down the tying run at the plate and end the game as they survived a rally by Bucksport in the seventh inning and edged the Bucks 4-3 for the Eastern Maine title.
Undefeated Winslow (19-0) will play West champ Windham (18-0) – an 8-7 winner over Oak Hill – at St. Joseph’s College in Standish Saturday at 7 p.m. for the state championship.
Second-seeded Bucksport ended the season with a 17-2 record.
The Golden Bucks were positioned for a come-from-behind win after loading the bases with no outs in the seventh.
Bucksport’s Jody Senter scored from third on a wild pitch and Jen Marzolf delivered a sacrifice fly to make the score 4-3 with one out. Kristen Ready was standing at third base with pitcher-cleanup hitter Jen Wardwell due up.
Wardwell hit a hard grounder to Winslow pitcher Jen Harrison on the first pitch, Harrison grabbed the ball, looked Ready back to third, and threw to first baseman Karla Roy for the second out.
At the same time Harrison began the throw, Ready broke hard down the line for home plate. Roy took the throw cleanly for the out and threw a low bullet to catcher Lori Desmond, hoping to catch the sliding Ready.
The throw was right on the mark, Ready was tagged out on a very close play, and the Raiders escaped the jam and preserved the victory.
“It was the most exciting throw I’ve ever made,” said Roy. “I knew I had to get it out of my hands as quick as possible and I was just hoping it would go into her glove.”
“It seemed like that play took forever, but it’s over now and it feels awesome,” said Harrison.
“That’s (sending the runner) automatic for us. We’re very aggressive and that’s just the way we’ve done it all year,” said Bucksport Coach Michael Carrier.
“Half an inch either way and she probably would have beaten it.”
Ironically, it was the same type of play the previous inning that allowed Winslow to score its fourth run of the contest – what turned out to be the game-winner.
Winslow had a runner at third with no outs in the bottom of the sixth before pinch-hitter Heather Twombly hit a come-backer to Wardwell. Wardwell looked Winslow’s Erin Sanborn back to third before firing to first baseman Jody Senter for the first out.
In the meantime, Sanborn made a mad dash for home plate. Senter fired a strike to the plate, but Sanborn slid barely under the tag to score the big insurance run.
The sixth was the key inning for Winslow.
After a fielding error and single put Winslow runners at second and third, Sanborn bunted a seeing-eye single between second and third past a drawn-in infield to score a run and make it 2-1 Winslow.
Shortstop Jen Marzolf got the ball, but threw high to the plate. Stacie Grenier scored on the throwing error and Sanborn made it all the way to third.
The victory made a winner out of Harrison for the 18th time this year. She pitched a five-hitter, walked two, and struck out four.
The Raiders were led offensively by Grenier, who went 2-for-3 and scored twice. Lori Desmond singled and scored.
The win avenged a semifinal loss to Bucksport last year.
“We’ve been looking forward to this for a year now,” said Winslow Coach Steve Blood. “We thought it would be a one-run game and three runs would be enough to win it. It wasn’t… but we were lucky enough to come out on top.”
For Bucksport, Ready led the offense – going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Senter scored twice and singled.
Wardwell was the tough-luck loser. She pitched a five-hitter, walking no one and striking out four.
“It’s pretty tough. I figured we had the pitcher and the team this year,” said Carrier. “We had some mistakes, they had some mistakes, but we had more than they did and that’s what loses ballgames.”
Raiders 4, Golden Bucks 3
Bucksport girls Winslow
Name ab r h bi Name ab r h bi
Smith, 2b 2 1 0 0 Doyon, ss 3 0 1 0
Ready, c 3 0 2 1 Roy, 1b 3 0 0 0
Marzolf, ss 3 0 1 1 a-Simard 0 0 0 0
Wardwell, p 4 0 0 0 Harrison, p 3 0 0 0
Bakeman, rf 3 0 0 0 Desmond, c 3 1 1 0
Sanna, cf 3 0 1 0 b-Paquet 0 0 0 0
Brown, lf 2 0 0 0 Grenier, 3b 3 2 2 0
Tripp, 3b 1 0 0 0 Sanborn, lf 3 1 1 1
Hoke, 3b 1 0 0 0 Pomerleau, rf 1 0 0 0
Senter, 1b 3 2 1 0 c-Twombly 1 0 0 1
Lizotte, dh 3 0 0 0
Morneau, cf 3 0 0 0
Totals 25 3 5 2 Totals 26 4 5 2
a-ran for Roy in fifth
b-ran for Desmond in fourth
c-hit for Pomerleau in sixth
Bucksport 001 000 2 – 3
Winslow 010 003 x – 4
E – Smith, Ready, Marzolf 2, Tripp, Hoke, Senter 3; Grenier, Pomerleau, Trapnell 2 LOB – Bucksport 7; Winslow 5 DP – Wardwell to Ready to Senter; Harrison to Roy to Desmond SB – Sanna; Simard S – Sanna, Brown, Ready 2, Smith, Marzolf SF – Marzolf
PITCHER IP H R ER BB SO
Wardwell (L,14-2) 6 5 4 1 0 4
Harrison (W,18-0) 7 5 3 3 2 4
WP – Wardwell; Harrison PB – Ready TIME -1:43