Greely softball reaches regional final

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It didn’t come easily, but the title hopes of the Greely softball team were still alive at press time.

The Rangers earned the No. 2 seed in Western Class B after a 14-2 regular season and blanked rival No. 7 Cape Elizabeth, 6-0, in the quarterfinals Thursday. Ace Dani Cimino threw a two-hitter and helped spark the offense with three hits, two runs scored and an RBI. Elyse Dinan doubled three times and drove in four runs.

Saturday, Greely hosted No. 3 Leavitt, a team it had never played in the postseason.

The Rangers found themselves down 3-0 heading for the bottom of the third, but scored twice in the that frame and drew even in the fourth.

“We always fight back,” said Cimino. “We never give up.  Obviously no one likes coming from behind, but we have no problem doing it, and we pulled through.”

After Cimino got out of a jam in the top of the seventh, she won it in the bottom half, singling home Katie Whittum.

“I needed her to score, so I was looking for something outside to punch it to the right side,” said Cimino. “(Katie’s) fast. If there’s someone we want on base in that situation, it’s always her.”

“We started a little tentative, but continued to fight and put runs on the board,” said Greely first-year coach Sarah Jamo. “Once we settled in, our defense became more aggressive and held them scoreless from the third inning on, which allowed our offensive to relax and put together some quality at-bats. The stop in the top of the seventh inning was huge and really gave us confidence going into the bottom of the seventh. Dani came up and on the second pitch of the at-bat, she drove it back up the middle and Katie, who was off on contact with two outs, was able to score the walk-off run.”

Greely advanced to meet rival Fryeburg (17-1) in the Western B Final Wednesday at St. Joseph’s College. The Raiders beat the Rangers, 4-3, in nine innings, in last year’s quarterfinals.

In the regular season, Greely won at Fryeburg, 8-1, but lost at home to the Raiders in the finale, 3-1.

“We are excited to be facing Fryeburg,” Jamo said. “Each team has been able to take a win this season which I think adds to the excitement and anticipation of the game. I think these are the two best teams in the conference. Hopefully we will be able to use our momentum we have built in the playoffs and continue to battle against a great team.”

The winner will face either Old Town (15-4) or Nokomis (14-5) in the state final, Saturday at 3 p.m., at Brewer High School.

Falmouth got the 12th and final playoff spot in Western B, but despite a strong effort, lost, 7-4, at fifth-ranked Gray-New Gloucester in last week’s preliminary round.

The Yachtsmen took a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Patriots answered with four runs. Falmouth tied the game with a run in the fourth and another in the fifth, but after leaving the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, the Yachtsmen gave up three runs in the bottom half and Gray-New Gloucester held on for the victory.

Elizabeth Walker had three hits and two RBI. Maddie Inlow tripled as the Yachtsmen finished the season 8-9.

Sun Journal staff writer Kevin Mills contributed to this story.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.