AUGUSTA, Maine — The Cony High School softball team capped an undefeated season with a 6-1 win over Bangor on Wednesday afternoon.
Cony finished 16-0, while Bangor ended the regular season at 11-5 and loser of three straight.
But the game will be remembered for a number of oddities.
Freshman right-hander Arika Brochu limited Bangor to three singles and an unearned run over 6⅓ innings with 10 strikeouts and one walk. She threw 66 strikes among her 92 pitches.
But, while throwing a 2-0 pitch to Alexis Stanhope in the fourth inning, her glove flew off her sweaty hand and she never released the ball. It was an illegal pitch and was called a ball.
“I never had that happen before. My hand was sweaty,” said a grinning Brochu. She went six full innings and then relieved ace Sonja Morse, who had walked three and struck out one in the seventh. Brochu got the final two outs via strikeouts.
“She was amazing. I’m glad she relieved me,” said Morse.
“I went mostly with my fastball. I was able to hit my spots,” said Brochu. “As the game went on, I figured out the hitters more. It felt good.”
“She pitched really well,” said Bangor center fielder Baumrind. “We knew that we had to lay off the high pitches. But we didn’t do that.”
In the fifth inning, Bangor had runners on second and third with two outs when June Candland hit a bouncer to third baseman Olivia Deeves.
Deeves’ throw to first clearly pulled first baseman Morse’s foot off the bag and Bangor’s two runners crossed the plate, the second one sliding under catcher Nicole Rugan’s tag.
However, the base umpire had called Candland out at first.
Bangor coach Don Stanhope made a plea to the home plate umpire and he called Candland safe.
At first, Bangor’s two runners were allowed to score.
But Cony coach Rocky Gaslin argued that the out call should have rendered the play dead so the runners had to return to their bases.
The home plate umpire agreed so Bangor wound up with the bases loaded.
Stanhope argued the decision and was ejected from the game for the first time in his eight-year career.
“If the play was dead, why did the Cony first baseman throw to the plate? They kept playing just like we did,” said Stanhope.
The next hitter struck out to end the threat.
According to Mark Doughty, who was not at the game but who has umpired softball for more than 30 years, the rule reads that it is up to the discretion of the home plate umpire to put the runners where he felt they would have been if a safe call was originally made at first.
The homestanding Rams had just five hits but capitalized on seven walks, a hit batter and 10 wild pitches delivered by freshman starter Cordelia Stewart and sophomore reliever Alexis Stanhope.
Cony scored three times in the third to take a lead it would never relinquish.
Cecilia Fuller walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Brochu’s double off the fence.
Brochu moved to third on a wild pitch and, after a walk and stolen base, she scored on another wild pitch. Rugan overran third on the play and was caught in a rundown, but she eventually was able to scamper home.
Cony scored two more in the fourth on three walks, three wild pitches, two stolen bases and Rugan’s long RBI single to center.
Kamdra Prendergast singled home Bangor’s lone run in that wild fifth inning.
Deeves singled home an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth.
Brochu had a single to go with her double.