CUMBERLAND — There are different ways to measure the importance of a victory. Sometimes it’s determined by its Heal points value. Other times it’s determined by an immeasurable emotional lift.

For Greely High’s softball team, Wednesday’s 9-7 victory over Gray-New Gloucester qualified as big on many levels.

It will, as Coach Mike Robb said, provide a Heal points boost. But as winning pitcher Mary Zambello said, just beating the Patriots means a lot.

“I know this win is important for the Heal points,” said Zambello, who allowed seven hits. “But for the last three years, with teams like Cape Elizabeth and Gray, we’ve never been able to pull out (a victory).

“So just the win itself means a lot to us. I’m just so proud the team was able to pull this one out.”

It was a nice rebound win for the Rangers (7-1), who lost 8-6 to Fryeburg Academy on Monday, committing seven errors. They had none against the Patriots, who dropped to 5-2 with their second staight loss.

“We took that loss and learned from it,” said senior center fielder Marika Stayte. “We knew what we had to work on, and we did.”

The Rangers played some exceptional defense. Third baseman Karlee Biskup made a couple of nice backhand plays on the line and second baseman Bryce McEwen made a leaping snare of a line drive.

But sophomore first baseman Lindsey Arsenault may have had the play of the day. With a runner on in the top of the fifth, she caught a pop-up, tripped over McEwen (who was also going for the ball), and then scrambled to tag out the base runner for a double play.

“I didn’t have time to call for it,” said Arsenault. “I just went for it, tripped over my own player and then dived for the base runner. It was instinct.”

The Rangers’ offense was also impressive, especially against Gray-NG’s Laura Getchell, one of the state’s dominant pitchers. After the Patriots got two in the first on a mammoth home run by Abby Ryan — the first of two long home runs she had in the game — Greely came back with five in the bottom of the inning — aided by two of Gray-NG’s four errors.

Then after the Patriots tied the game with three in the fourth, Greely came up with four in the bottom of the inning for a 9-5 lead. Arsenault and Emma Seymour had RBI singles, while Stayte and Michaela Finnegan drove in the other runs.

“That was very comforting,” said Zambello. “It’s nice to have a team like that. I’m never nervous because I know if I give up runs, we can come back and double what they got.”

Dave Getchell, the Patriots’ coach, said his team needs to regroup after a couple of sloppy defensive games. “They haven’t been our best defensive efforts and it’s hurting us,” he said. “We can’t rely on heavy strikeouts every game. That means making a commitment to get to every ball. We practiced all the scenarios we saw today, and it isn’t catching on.”

Robb, meanwhile, knows how much this win means in a season where only nine teams will qualify for the Western Class B tournament. Greely was eighth going into the game.

“We need the Heal points,” he said. “I try not to talk too much about the W’s, but we need to win.”

 

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

mlowe@pressherald.com