Hall-Dale wins first Maine softball title

Hall-Dale hoists the Gold Glove
Emma Soule had two hits and two RBI

(Standish ME) “We’ve accomplished every goal we set for ourselves,” said Hall-Dale winning pitcher Ashlynn Donahue afterwards.

The Bulldogs (17-0) had never won a state softball title before but with a 5-0 victory over Dexter (15-3) this afternoon they got it done.

“We made a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes and they capitalized,” explained Dexter coach Jason Hardy.

A hit batsman, a wild pitch, and an error were the mistakes that contributed to three Bulldogs’ runs in the first inning and two more in the third inning.

“They got on the board early which put us on our heels,” added Coach Hardy.

“We got some runs early and that set the tone for us,” said HD coach Steve Acedo after his team won the Class C title.

Rita Benoit pitched the final two innings

Ashlynn Donahue and Rita Benoit combined for the shutout.

The Tigers had a hit in every inning and stranded at least one baserunner in every inning, except the sixth.

“We’ve got two really good pitchers that kept their bats under control,” said Coach Acedo.

Liz Kinney was the one hitter for Dexter that was trouble every time up.  Elizabeth had a walk, two singles, and a loud triple (over CF) in the Dexter 7th.

Liz ended up with half of the Tigers hits.

Junior Emma Soule paced Hall-Dale with a hit and an RBI in both innings that the Bulldogs scored.

“I don’t know if Emma had a hit in the last two playoff games,” said Coach Acedo, “but she showed up today.  She’s one of our leaders.”

“I’ve been struggling lately,” admitted Emma.

Sarah Benner heads home with the first Hall-Dale run
LF Lexi Rideout saved a run in the 4th

No struggles today.  Emma singled to centerfield in the first and put down an RBI suicide bunt in the third.  She was also good at second base handling popups and grounders.

The best defensive play was turned in by HD leftfielder Lexi Rideout in the fourth inning.  The Tigers had a runner on third with two outs.  Sydney Dyson hit a ball toward the gap to Lexi’s left but the HD sophomore was able to run it down and save a run.

Rita Benoit picked up the save pitching two complete innings.  The Hall-Dale sophomore fanned four including the final batter of the game.

Starter Ashlynn Donahue gave up five hits and struck out three during her five innings of work.

“We were prepared to pitch Ashlynn four or five innings,” explained Coach Acedo.  “She pitched the whole game on Thursday night.”

Liz Kinney had 3 hits for Dexter

In the fifth inning, Ashlynn had two outs, two runners on, and two strikes on the batter.  Coach Acedo then came out to the mound.

I asked him about it: “I told her, just finish this one and your job is done.”  Ashlynn’s next pitch was a strike and the inning ended.

Tough loss for Dexter senior starter Avery Herrick.  She only gave up five hits while striking out seven Bulldogs.  The team from Farmingdale didn’t have a hit over the final 3 2/3 innings.  But the early HD runs proved to be the difference.

The loss today ended the Tigers fourteen game win streak.  One of the Tigers losses was to Searsport which won the Class D title today.

Weather was good.  There was a forecast of possible rain.

St. Joseph’s has their own version of Fenway’s Green Monster seats.  I was blessed to be able to get a seat out there again this year.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge if you click on them.  Some of the pictures will appear on my Instagram account – McClellandMiscellanea).

Hall-Dale box
Dexter box
Tanley Tibbetts scores the second HD run
Lily Platt scores on a wild pitch
Battle for the ball
Rita Benoit rounds third heading for home in the 3rd inning
1B Sammy Thornton
Ashlynn Donahue gets a strikeout
Final strike of the game
Celebrating begins – Rita Benoit and Lily Platt
Catcher Cheyenne Beem
Dexter team
Ashlynn Donahue
Zoe Soule
Victory lap
Hall-Dale – 2021 Class C Maine softball champions

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