FRYEBURG – In a little less than two hours, Fred Apt completely changed his mind about the significance of his Fryeburg Academy softball team’s game Friday against Greely.
At first he said the game meant little, that no matter what happened, both teams likely would end up in the same Western Class B tournament bracket and possibly play each other again.
But after his Raiders defeated Greely 7-1 to vault over Cape Elizabeth and back into first in the Heal point standings, he nodded his head and admitted, “We wanted to be No.1, no doubt.”
And the Raiders are.
In a game that displayed all the skills that carried Fryeburg to a 15-1 regular- season record, the Raiders got great pitching from Sarah Harriman, clutch hitting and contributions from everyone in the lineup.
And they accomplished it without first baseman and cleanup hitter Kylie Locke, out with a hamstring pull.
“We just hoped other girls would step up,” said Apt, “and they did. We’re very happy we were able to do this without Kylie.”
Harriman allowed three hits — two to freshman Charlotte Benoit, who entered as a pinch hitter for Dani Cimino in the fourth and delivered the Rangers’ only run with a double — while striking out 10. She didn’t walk anyone.
Catcher Carla Tripp, who reached in all four of her at-bats as the leadoff hitter (three singles and a hit batter) and scored twice, called it a typical performance by Harriman. “She was bringing it like she always does.”
Elyse Dinan, Greely’s third baseman and No. 3 hitter, agreed.
“I’ve faced her before; she’s a great pitcher,” said Dinan. “Today she was on her A game.”
The Raiders broke it open with a four-run third to extend their lead to 5-0.
With one out, Tripp reached on an infield single, then Maddie Pearson dropped a single down the right-field line. Harriman knocked in Tripp with a liner to left-center, runners ending up on second and third on the throw into the infield.
Sydney Charles followed with an infield single that scored Pearson, then stole second.
After an out, left-handed batter Kristen Chipman lined a single to left, scoring two runs.
“She did exactly what we talk about,” said Apt. “Taking the pitch and putting the ball where we needed it.”
Miranda Moore replaced Cimino in the fifth, allowing two unearned runs in the sixth.
The Rangers finished the regular season seeded fourth — in Fryeburg’s bracket indeed — with a 12-4 record. Three losses were to the top two seeded teams: Fryeburg twice and Cape Elizabeth on Thursday.
Greely committed seven errors and had just four hits in the back-to-back losses to end the season. Coach Jessica Gomez said that was very uncharacteristic of the team, which has hit and fielded well all season.
“I see these kids every day so I know what they can do,” she said. “Sometimes I have to step back and remember how young they really are. Not only young but also inexperienced in softball.”
The Rangers have one senior with five freshmen, four sophomores and four juniors.
The Raiders also think they can do better.
“This team being united, that’s the No. 1 thing,” said Tripp. “We’ve been working toward that all year.”
“We’re getting there,” said Harriman. “This was better.”
Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: