(Standish) It’s on to the Class B title game on Saturday (11AM) against Old Town at Brewer High School for the Fryeburg Academy Raiders after they eliminated the Greely Rangers, 8-1, on a sunny Thursday afternoon at St. Joseph’s College.
Fryeburg Academy coach Fred Apt won his 150th game and his Raiders have now won the Class B West Regionals five straight years.
FA (18-1) went into the fourth inning trailing 1-0 but came out of that inning with eight runs, capitalizing on everything that Greely gave them. And one thing that the Rangers gave FA was three extra outs.
After Maggie McConkey singled leading off the fourth, first baseman Mykaela Twitchell, third baseman Lindsey Arsenault, and shortstop Caroline Hamilton made errors on consecutive batters. So instead of shading themselves in their dugout, the Rangers had already given up the tying run and FA had the bases loaded with no outs.
Eight batters later Fryeburg Academy had put up seven more runs and this game had reached the “Hail Mary” zone for Greely High from Cumberland.
In that big fourth inning, Emily Davidson cleared the bases with a right-center gapper. Later, Maddy Smith and Sarah Harriman each brought in two runs with singles.
After finally ending that inning, and it took a double play by centerfielder Kathryn Whittum to do it, the Greely bats were very quiet over the final three innings. The only hit was Dani Cimino’s single in the seventh before teammates Elyse Dinan and Eddie Aromando were retired to end the game.
Dani Cimino was the star for Greely. The junior pitched a 5-hitter and allowed no earned runs. She had the Rangers’ only two hits including a homer over the left centerfield fence in the top of the fourth.
But one bad inning was enough for FA. And with lefty Sarah Harriman going, runs were going to be hard to come by.
Sarah tossed a 2-hitter with four strikeouts and no walks. The sophomore had five one-two-three innings.
The Raiders didn’t get a hit until the fourth. In the third, however, without a hit, they threatened getting two base runners on walks. A grounder to short ended the inning as Maddy Smith was ruled to have interfered with Greely shortstop Caroline Hamilton as she attempted to field the grounder.
FA catcher Carla Tripp was one of the “walkers” in the third. She may have fouled off as many as ten pitches before drawing the walk.
Carla’s lengthy at bat in the third and the demise of the Greely defense in the fourth may have taken some of the edge out of Dani Cimino as she pitched long after she should have been cooling off in the dugout. And this was one of those games in which the heat was a factor.
Shortstop Sydney Charles started a double play in the second for FA. Second baseman Bri Pelkie made a nice running catch in the 6th inning.
Eight different girls scored for Fryeburg.
Maddie Smith was the only Raider to get two hits.
FA has now won sixteen straight games.
First year coach Sarah Jamo took a team that was 10-8 last season and brought them to the West Regional game with an impressive 16-3 season. They also defeated Fryeburg Academy earlier in the season.
The Old Town Coyotes (16-4) will be in their first Class B title game when they face the Raiders on Saturday morning. Considering that FA has been there, done it, over the last four years you would have to like their chances. With Sarah Harriman pitching the Coyotes will struggle to score runs and Old Town had better hope that they don’t struggle on defense the way Greely did.
Taking pictures at Richard Bailey Field was difficult. At most softball games a photographer can get inside the fence for close-ups and better angles. Not at this field. The other option was the press box but the view from there wasn’t a clear look at the entire field. That’s a whine and I apologize.
Learned from Coach Apt before the game that he grew up on Rings Island in Salisbury (MA) and went two years to Newburyport High School and two years to Triton Regional. That information seemed quite remarkable to me since I live in Newburyport and I‘m covering a random game in Maine.
(The pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)