BRISTOL, Conn. — Alessa Oakes pitched a two-hitter Thursday afternoon, sparking the Hermon Little League softball all-stars to a 2-0 victory over Cumberland, R.I., in the ages 11-12 Eastern Regional tournament.
Hermon (4-1) advances to Friday’s semifinals where it will play Fairfield, Conn., a 7-0 winner over Lynn, Mass. Connecticut beat Hermon 17-3 on Monday.
“They [players] feel great. They’re still very excited off (Thursday’s) win, and very much looking forward to (Friday’s) game,” said Hermon coach Jody Theberge, “and a lot of them are hoping to face Connecticut again seeing how they’re the only team to beat us, where we got our only loss.”
The Hermon-Connecticut winner advances to Saturday’s regional championship game for the right to play in the Little League Softball World Series.
Oakes went the distance for Hermon, striking out five and walking only one. She was backed by errorless defense.
“That’s the big plus [good defense] because we’ve had ups and downs defensively in this tournament and to have no errors today was huge,” Jody Theberge said.
Catcher Sydney Adessi stroked a double for the winners, while Alexis MacManus and Emily Perley each posted a single against losing pitcher Emily Durand, who also pitched a three-hitter.
Kailey Brodeur rapped a double for Rhode Island, which finished the tournament at 3-2.
Hermon scored both of its runs during the third inning.
MacKenzie Haskell started the rally when she reached on an error by Durand. Oakes grounded into a fielder’s choice, stole second, advanced on Adessi’s double and scored on Theberge’s squeeze bunt.
Hailey Perry got aboard on an error by the first baseman, which allowed Adessi to score.
MacManus ended the game ranked third in the tournament with a .583 batting average (7-for-12) with four runs batted in. Oakes is hitting .500 (9-for-18).
Among pitchers, Oakes is 2-1 with a 2.95 earned run average. She leads the regional with 28 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings.
Hermon is focused on keeping its impressive run alive.
“It’s been a blast, we’ve had a great time,” coach Theberge said. “A lot of us have been away from home for a week now. There are not many better reasons to be away. It’s been a lot of fun, we’ve exceeded expectations I would say, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready to give in yet either.”
<span class=”Sports_agate_baseball”>Rhode Island 000 000 — 0 3 2</span>
<span class=”Sports_agate_baseball”>Hermon 002 00x — 2 3 0</span>
<span class=”Sports_agate”>Durand and Brodeur; Oakes and Addessi</span>
<span class=”Sports_12tb”>Junior League</span>
<span class=”Sports_10tb”>Ellsworth 6, South Portland 2</span>
At Mansfield Stadium in Bangor , Charlie Libby tossed 6 ⅔ innings of three-hit ball, allowing just two unearned runs while striking out 10 and walking just one, to lead Ellsworth past South Portland in their state tournament opener.
Mitchell Domagala and Gage Feeney hit run-scoring singles in a five-run second inning and Ellsworth also capitalized on five walks.
Feeney doubled and singled and drove in two runs for the winners.
Silas Zechman singled twice for South Portland.
<span class=”Sports_agate_baseball”>South Portland 000 200 0 — 2 3 1</span>
<span class=”Sports_agate_baseball”>Ellsworth 150 000 x — 6 6 1</span>
<span class=”Sports_agate”>Henderson, Zechman (2), Curran (3), Solomon (4), Beecher (6) and Haynes; Libby, Feeney (7) and Domagala</span>
<span class=”Sports_12tb”>Senior League</span>
<span class=”Sports_10tb”>Scarborough 7, Waldo County 6</span>
At Mansfield Stadium in Bangor, Eric Pemberton’s fifth-inning double scored Matt Hartl, who had walked, to break a 6-6 tie and supply Scarborough with its win in a mutual state tournament opener.
Ryan Collins doubled and singled for the winners. Jake Halpin tripled and drove two runs and Will Fowler had a two-run single in a four-run fourth inning.
Nick Rodgerson tripled and singled for Waldo County.
<span class=”Sports_agate_baseball”>Waldo County 000 510 0 — 6 6 0</span>
<span class=”Sports_agate_baseball”>Scarborough 020 410 x — 7 9 5</span>
<span class=”Sports_agate”>Varney, Cook (4), Varney (4), Ellis (5) and Later; Corbeau, Cross (4), Hartl (5), Pemberton (6) and Collins</span>