AUGUSTA, Maine — When Richmond’s Leandra Martin showed up for Thursday’s East-West Class C-D Senior All-Star softball game at Cony High School, she had no idea she would find herself throwing nine innings in 91-degree heat.
“I guess the Monmouth girl [Reen Kahl] didn’t show up,” said Martin, who allowed five runs but just one over the final six innings and drove in the winning run with a bunt in the ninth inning as the West triumphed 6-5.
The West A-B stars completed a sweep in the nightcap with a 5-2 victory.
The games were predetermined to go nine innings.
“It was tiring in the heat but I like to throw in warm weather,” said Martin, who will attend Husson University in Bangor this fall. “I knew it was going to be a long game.”
Martin pitched a complete game Saturday in a loss to Penobscot Valley of Howland in the state Class D game and said it “felt good to beat the East after losing in the state game.”
The East jumped out to a 4-1 lead with three runs in the third and another in the fourth.
A single by Central of Corinth’s Brianna Speed and an error set the stage for a two-run double by Caleigh Paul of Orono. Paul scored when an error was made on a single by Ashland’s Brooke LaBelle.
Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook’s Olivia Raymond singled in a fourth-inning run.
The West tied it with three runs in the sixth on a double off the fence by Madison’s Kayla Belanger, an RBI double by St. Dominic’s Mary Caron, a fielder’s choice and a sacrifice fly by Melissa Mayhew of Sacopee Valley of South Hiram.
The West pushed across an eighth-inning run on Chelsey Burnell’s fielder’s choice to take the lead but LaBelle singled home the tying run in the ninth. Ashland teammate Anna Paradis followed with a one-out double but Martin pitched out of the jam.
Two walks and a wild pitch set the stage for Martin’s decisive bunt in the bottom of the ninth.
Sacopee Valley’s Burnell had a double and single as did Belanger.
Raymond and LaBelle had two hits apiece for the East. Bailey Blair doubled as did Paul and Paradis.
East Grand of Danforth’s Kaitlyn Beaudoin struck out eight in five innings of work and allowed just two runs. Piscataquis Community High of Guilford’s Abby Burdin pitched the other four innings.
In the Class A-B game, Western Maine pitchers did all the pitching as Miss Maine Softball Award winner Julia Geaumont, Scarborough’s Mo Hannan, Gray-New Gloucester’s Maggie Chaplin and Kennebunk Hannah King took turns in the circle.
Hampden Academy’s Olivia Plaisted explained that her Bronco teammate, Ashley Danforth, who was supposed to pitch, was in Germany visiting her parents.
Massabesic of Waterboro’s Emily Schatz had a two-run single in the second inning to give the West a lead it would never relinquish.
The West added a run in the third and scored two more in the fourth on an RBI fielder’s choice by Windham’s Logan Genest and a run-scoring single by Gray-New Gloucester’s Maggie Chaplin.
The East broke through for two runs in the seventh on a fielder’s choice by Lawrence of Fairfield’s Sophie Lindsey and a double by Oxford Hills of South Paris’ Bre Martin.
Due to a miscommunication, there were no umpires so coaches and volunteers filled in.
The players said they enjoyed the experience.
“It was fun. It’s fun to play against some great athletes,” said Plaisted, who had a single. “And it was nice being on the same team with your high school rivals.”
She said the pitching was impressive.
“We don’t see many fastball pitchers like that in our league,” said Plaisted.
Bangor’s Kristen Henigan agreed.
“They were really fast,” said Henigan who added that she had a “great time.”
Henigan will soon be headed for basic training in the United States Navy.
Old Town’s Meagan Cousins said she enjoyed the “socializing.”
“Everybody was so nice,” said Cousins.
Friends Hannan and Geaumont, two of the Miss Maine finalists, swapped jerseys and played the last inning together as the middle infielders.