BANGOR, Maine — Senior shortstop Lindsay Houp’s RBI single triggered a four-run seventh inning that carried the Brewer High softball team to a 9-6 victory over rival Bangor on Wednesday afternoon at the Bangor High field.
“These kids are tough,” said Brewer coach Skip Estes of his Witches. “They showed a lot of character today.”
The game had been a back-and-forth contest until Houp’s bases-loaded hit scored Chelsea King to give the Witches (3-0) their first lead at 6-5.
“I’ve been batting leadoff for a while,” said Houp. “My job is to get singles. I was just looking for contact.”
She got just enough for a soft liner over the head of Bangor second baseman Alexis Stanhope, who was playing in to be able to cut off the run at the plate in case of a grounder.
“It was a strike, a little in,” Houp said. “It felt like I hit it off the handle, but it worked.”
Delaney Davis then scored on a wild pitch, followed by Maddy Bailey on a fielder’s choice and Houp on a second fielder’s choice to give the Witches a 9-5 edge.
“We loaded the bases on them three times [earlier in the game] and got nothing out of it,” said Estes. “I felt if we keep putting the pressure on, we could get it through.”
Emily Reilly tried to rally the Rams (2-2) in the bottom of the seventh.
Reilly led off with a line double that rolled to the fence in left-center field. Courtesy runner Eve George moved up on a dropped third strike and scored on a wild pitch, but that was as close the Rams would get.
“I had some butterflies,” said pitcher Chelsea King about protecting the lead. “We just needed to get our head in the game and get ’em out.”
With Skyler Cassum on first and one out, Lilli Wiseman hit a ground ball to Houp, who threw to first to get Wiseman.
Cassum, meanwhile, tried to take an extra base on the throw and Morgan Small fired to third baseman Cassie Harvey to get Cassum for a double play that ended the game.
“Bangor is very good,” said Estes. “This was a big game. They played us hard right to the very end.”
Bangor opened the scoring when Reilly blasted a hard drive well over the left-field fence in the first inning, but Brewer equalized that in the third when Alexis Grindle and scored following two straight Bangor errors.
“That’s not typical for us,” said Bangor coach Don Stanhope, who was encouraged in one way.
“They were aggressive mistakes,” he said. “They had an idea what they wanted to do with the ball and went with it.”
The Rams regained the lead with RBI doubles by Stanhope and Cassum in the bottom of the third, and Brewer re-tied it 3-3 in the fourth with a two-run single through a drawn-in infield.
Bangor restored its two-run margin in the bottom of the fourth, and Brewer returned the favor on Houp’s two-out, two-run single.
“We never put our heads down the whole game,” said Houp.
Stanhope praised the Witches’ errorless play.
“They fielded well and made every throw they needed to,” he said.
Davis and Houp each posted a pair of singles for the Witches. King relieved starter Grindle one batter into the fourth inning and picked up the win. Grindle had two strikeouts, no walks and two hit batsmen in three-plus innings, while King had four strikeouts and one walk in four innings.
Sydni Cosgrove rapped two singles for Bangor, and Alexis Stanhope added a double. Starter Cassum took the loss, posting four strikeouts, three walks and two hit batsmen in two stints covering 4 1/3 innings, and Reilly gave up a walk and a hit batsman in 2 2/3 innings.