BANGOR, Maine — The Lawrence Bulldogs’ backs have been against the wall lately as they try to secure one of the nine softball playoff berths available in the 14-team Eastern Maine Class A standings.
“I told them we had to beat somebody better than us,” said Lawrence coach Joe Marcoux, pointing to No. 6 Bangor and No. 4 Skowhegan.
“The kids said they were going to beat both,” he said. “Well, we just beat the first and we’ll see tomorrow about the next one.”
The Bulldogs rallied for six runs in the top of the seventh inning Monday afternoon to knock off Bangor 7-4 at the Bangor High field.
“We had moments when we couldn’t finish,” said Bangor coach Don Stanhope.
Randa Tardy’s two-run double highlighted the seventh inning, which included three of the four walks the Rams pitchers gave up.
“Walks end up coming back to haunt you,” said Stanhope.
The Rams (8-6) held a 3-1 lead entering the final inning, but the first seven Bulldog batters reached base and the first six scored.
Paige Belanger’s bases-loaded single brought in the first run of the inning, Allison Blaisdell walked to force in the second run and an error on a Sydney Knowlton grounder scored the go-ahead run.
Tardy was excited as the rally progressed, but she felt uncomfortable when her turn came up, still with the bases loaded.
“I pulled coach aside and told him I was scared,” said the senior left fielder.
“I said, ‘Why are you scared?’” said Marcoux, who pointed out she already had hits in the game.
The recharged Tardy followed with her two-run double, a hard-hit slicer down the right-field line.
“Once I hit it, I knew there would be runs,” said Tardy.
Knowlton scored Lawrence’s last run on Audri Fortier’s foul popup to right.
“Cassum pitched six strong innings,” said Stanhope, “but in the seventh, they were not going to swing at anything that wasn’t a strike.”
Bangor tried to rally in its half of the seventh.
With one out, Sydni Cosgrove hit a one-hopper to the fence in left-center for a double and scored on Alexis Stanhope’s single.
Stanhope took second on the throw to the plate and stole third, but she was stranded there following a foul popup to first base and a groundout to second.
Lawrence (6-7) scored first on Knowlton’s RBI single in the third, and Bangor grabbed the lead when Emily Reilly’s double plated Stanhope from first. Reilly took third on the throw home and scored when a throw to third went into left field.
Bangor got its third run in the fifth on Eve George’s double and Stanhope’s two-out single.
Lawrence pitcher Sara Martin hit the first batter she faced, then didn’t allow any more free passes. She struck out six and gave up eight hits.
Tardy finished with two doubles and a single and collected two RBIs.
Cassum struck out seven, walked two, hit a batter and allowed four hits in seven innings. Emily Reilly relieved Cassum after the second batter in the seventh and walked one and gave up a hit in the three batters she faced. Cassum returned and eventually got the final three outs.
Stanhope hit a pair of RBI singles for Bangor.
“We’re always talking about believing in the process,” said Stanhope. “Today, we didn’t get it done.”