Dirigo girls rally to win regionals
STANDISH -- It was an entirely new atmosphere for the Dirigo softball team, who took care of business in winning their first-ever Western Class C regional championship.
Second baseman Natalie Bolduc singled home Alyssa Wade with the eventual winning run in the fifth inning, while the Cougars defense came up with solid plays in a come-from-behind 2-1 triumph over Sacopee Valley in the rain under the lights on Richard W. Bailey Field.
Wade scattered eight hits in going the distance for the fourth-seed Cougars,. Dirigo had beaten No. 5 Hall Dale and then went on the road and upset top-ranked Madison 9-3 in a semifinal in order to reach Saint Joseph's College.
Dirigo entered the fifth with the scored tied and received a jolt from its defense. SV's Melissa Mayhew doubled to left-center and the Cougars CF Mariah Larson threw a strike to shortstop Tasha DeRoche, preventing a runner to score. With one out, third baseman Gretchen Bradbury threw to Alyssa Charity, who tagged out McKenzie at home plate.
"There was a few points early in the game where I had flashbacks ," said Dirigo coach Sara Thurston, referring to the Cougars having lost three one-one run games. "When the defensive game was going, our offense wasn't."
In the bottom of the inning, Bradbury led off with a single and advanced on a passed ball. With two outs, Wade had a 3-2 count and drilled the ball that rolled to the leftfield wall, easily scoring Bradbury, with Wade motoring into third base for a stand-up triple.
"I was thinking that I better not miss it," said Wade. "I just knew Gretchen was in scoring position. So I had to try and hit it as hard as I could."
Wade wasn't idle long because Bolduc delivered a single.
SV drew first blood in the first, Chelsey Burnell singled and scored on a two-out single by Shelly Pellegino. But, it was the Cougars that took control by stranding nine Hawk runners on base, including three straight innings with runners in scoring position. A thorn in the Hawks side was Cougar first baseman Ambyr Wilson, the junior made several stretches to snare throws from infielders.