Falmouth, Greely out of softball playoffs

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The softball season came to an end in Forecaster Country last week when Falmouth and Greely dropped agonizing one-run decisions.

The Yachtsmen went 8-8 in the regular season and wound up with the No. 10 seed. After a one-day delay due to rain, they visited No. 7 Oak Hill last Wednesday in the Western B preliminary round.

The first-ever meeting between the programs would go the way of the Raiders, but Falmouth made things interesting. Strong pitching from sophomore Sarah Collmus and a fourth inning run (driven in by a Katie McCarthy triple) gave the Yachtsmen a 1-0 lead entering the bottom of the fifth, but Oak Hill drew even with a run, then pushed across another in the seventh to win 2-1, ending Falmouth’s season at 8-9.

“We just didn’t hit,” lamented Yachtsmen coach John Keyes. “We had to hit. We had a great second half of the season and we’re only losing two players. The other top teams are losing a lot.”

Greely’s loss was even tougher to take.

The Rangers won five of their final six regular season games to wind up 9-7 and eighth in Western B. Last Wednesday, Greely hosted No. 9 Mountain Valley in the preliminary round and rolled to a 7-1 victory behind a 10-hit attack and a solid start from junior Mary Zambello.

Thursday, Greely went to top-ranked Maranacook and almost pulled off a huge upset. The Rangers trailed 1-0 entering the fifth, when they got their first hit and also got on the scoreboard. Kayla Sampson started the rally by hitting a high infield pop up that was dropped by the shortstop. Esther Aromando then put down a perfectly placed bunt single. Bryce McEwen sacrificed the runners to second and third. Caroline Hamilton bounced a hard grounder past short for an RBI single. Katie Whittum delivered Aromando with an infield hit. Marika Stayte then made it 3-1 with a squeeze bunt.

The Black Bears took advantage of an error and had three singles in the sixth to push across the tying runs. Zambello and Maranacook’s Sarah Maxwell (14 strikeouts) then traded zeroes until the 10th, when the Black Bears scored on an error, sacrifice bunt and base hit to win 4-3, ending the Rangers’ season at 10-8.

“We went to Maranacook knowing we’d be in a fight, but also knowing that we could win if we played our complete game,” said Greely coach Mike Robb. “From the first pitch until the close play at the plate in the bottom of the 10th, the game was a struggle for both teams. Mary pitched a complete game with a gutsy performance.

“Our team really came together the last half of the season and the girls played their best softball when it counted the most,” Robb added. “I’m very proud of the way they played the game, supported each other, and represented the Greely community. Though the book on the 2009 season is closed, this game showed that we can compete with the top of the class and next year can’t come soon enough. We are very optimistic about next year as some graduations around the conference really open things up. We plan to have a complete team with offense, defense, pitching & catching and will compete for top billing in the strong Western Maine Conference.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net.