BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor High School softball team displayed quite a bit of resiliency during its 6-5 nine-inning Eastern Maine Class A quarterfinal win over Skowhegan on Thursday.
The Rams were without head coach Don Stanhope, who was serving a one-game suspension mandated by the Maine Principals’ Association for being ejected from a season-ending 6-1 loss to Cony High of Augusta.
The Rams also found themselves trailing 1-0 on the game’s second pitch courtesy of a Shelby Obert homer and then watched Skowhegan tie the game with a three-run seventh-inning rally that was capped by a run-scoring pop-fly single that dropped behind pitcher Alexis Stanhope and in front of second baseman Meghan Hope.
But Bangor’s Carly Cosgrove belted a long double to left center to open the ninth and she scored the winning run when Annie Guare lofted a long one-out fly-ball single with the bases loaded.
“I didn’t know whether or not I should hit the first pitch,” said Cosgrove, who belted the first pitch. “But [pitcher Kaitlyn Therriault] had been throwing the first pitch right down the middle so I decided to crank it and it worked.”
Cosgrove’s double was followed by a walk to winning pitcher Emily Reilly, a grounder back to the mound that allowed the runners to move up to second and third and an intentional walk to Kamdra Prendergast, who had two hits and three RBIs on the day.
Guare got ahead 3-0 in the count, took a strike, fouled a ball off and then launched her long fly ball to right center beyond the drawn-in outfield.
“I knew I had to protect the plate and she threw me a fastball down by my ankles. That’s my favorite pitch to hit,” said Guare. “It felt so good.”
Bangor, the third seed, is now 12-5 and will entertain seventh seed and archrival Brewer, 11-6, in Saturday’s semifinal.
Sixth seed Skowhegan finished up at 10-7.
After Obert’s long blast to center to open the game, Bangor took a 5-1 lead with a run in the second and four in the third.
In the second, Jade Baumrind walked, stole second and scored when Prendergast flared a single to left.
Bangor’s four third-inning runs were all unearned as an infield error triggered the rally.
Two walks and two outs later, pinch-hitter Anna Morris narrowly legged out an RBI infield single, Prendergast lined a two-run single to left and Guare capped the rally with an RBI bunt single.
Skowhegan got one back in the fifth on Mikayla Toth’s single and Amanda Johnson’s long double to left center.
The Indians tied it in the seventh on Toth’s leadoff single, two walks, Anna Lorette’s run-scoring single, an outfield throwing error that allowed the fourth run to score and Makayla Fitzmaurice’s pop fly infield single behind Stanhope.
Cosgrove had a single to go with her double and Prendergast had her two hits and three RBIs. Guare had two singles and two RBIs and freshman Reilly notched the win with one inning of scoreless relief. Sophomore Stanhope had pitched the first eight innings.
“This was a true team win. We had contributions from a lot of people,” said assistant Doug Whitney, filling in for Stanhope.
The Johnsons, Amanda and Taylor, each had a double and a single for Skowhegan and Toth had a pair of base hits.
“It was a tremendous ballgame,” said Skowhegan coach Lee Johnson. “Both teams played real well. I’m proud of the way our kids fought back. We tied it up and had some chances [to pull ahead] but we just couldn’t get the timely hits we needed.”