OLD TOWN, Maine — Handling adversity can be a true testament to a team’s character.
The Old Town softball team faced a little bit of that Monday, having to play a makeup game in Orono before a pivotal home game with Mattanawcook Academy.
Even though she pitched seven innings against the Red Riots, junior righthander Hannah Morin pitched nine innings of shutout ball after allowing two second-inning runs and the Coyotes earned their biggest win of the spring with a 3-2 triumph in 11 innings on Senior Day.
It was Morin who figured in both the game-tying and winning rallies.
She led off the 11th with a single and was lifted for courtesy runner Micayla Gastia, who moved to second on a one-out walk to Amy Singer. Amy Cossar then lined the first pitch she saw to short and, when a low throw to third couldn’t be scooped, Gastia sped home with the winning run which set off a wild celebration.
“It was a huge team victory. Us having a game against Orono beforehand was insane, but we pulled through and we won,” said Cossar.
Old Town coach Lester Cowan had a good hunch the Lynx were going to attempt to force Gastia at third with two on and one out in the 11th.
“Micayla did a great job hustling, but I saw [the play] going to third the whole way,” Cowan said. “[That’s] just what happens when you put the ball in play, good things happen.”
With her team trailing 2-1 in the fifth, Whitney Leland lined an 0-2, two-out single into center before Morin blasted an 0-2 pitch from Lynx ace Tayla Trask to the center-field fence for a triple to score Leland.
Trask and Morin, two of Eastern Maine Class B’s best pitchers, combined to give up only 10 hits. Morin surrendered only two hits after the second.
“Everyone kept high spirits and we weren’t going to let them get the best of us,” said Morin, who compiled eight strikeouts and walked only one.
The Coyotes, who improve to 11-4 heading into today’s regular-season finale at Bucksport, got on the board first in the bottom of the first, with Singer connecting for an RBI single.
Mattanawcook (13-2) got its two back in the second on an RBI single from Rianne Gardner while Sierra Pierce reached on an error and scored on a wild pitch.
Morin showed a ton of heart while pitching the equivalent of nearly two games on the afternoon.
“It’s been tough, seeing as how I’ve been battling my knee injury, but finally I just dealt with it [and] sucked it up,” said Morin. “I had some pain in the beginning of the game but just dealt with it because I knew we had to win the game.”
Cowan was impressed with his team’s grit.
“These girls are amazing, they don’t quit, and we are finally healthy at the right time,” said Cowan, whose team enhanced its postseason position by beating the Lynx, who have been ranked atop the standings throughout the season.
MA’s Trask pitched a whale of a game in absorbing the tough-luck loss. The sophomore righthander struck out 16 batters and, like Morin, was aided by some great defensive plays.
“Unfortunately, we had the miscue but it was still a good game,” Mattanawcook coach Dean Libbey said. “It was anybody’s game, to be honest with you. We had chances, they had chances; just a tough one to lose.”