Wednesday, March 12, 2014
- By MIKE LOWE
Gray-New Gloucester kept getting better and better as the softball season went on, and Saturday the Patriots reached the Western Class B final by upsetting Cape Elizabeth, 2-1.
Photos by Derek Davis/Staff Photographer
Cape Elizabeth catcher Elise Fathers holds her ground and tags out Maria Valente of Gray-New Gloucester. Gray-NG will play Greely for the Western Class B title.
CAPE ELIZABETH - All season, Zoe Adams has tinkered with her batting stance: keep your legs wide, her coaches have stressed, transfer your weight front to back.
It all clicked Saturday.
Adams drove in both runs with a homer and double to help sixth-seeded Gray-New Gloucester upset No. 2 Cape Elizabeth 2-1 in a Western Class B softball semifinal.
Adams' hitting backed the pitching of Stephanie Greaton, who allowed five hits to a potent batting order.
"I just did what my coaches told me to do," said Adams. "And I hit the ball."
Adams hit the first pitch of the second inning for a towering homer to left. Then she lashed a two-out double into the gap in left-center to drive in the second run in the third, scoring Sam Wilkins, who also doubled.
The Patriots (14-5) will play fourth-seeded Greely at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the final at St. Joseph's College.
"This means a lot to us," said Gray-New Gloucester Coach Amanda Harmon. "They've all played together for a long time so it's a big deal. It's exciting and they've worked hard."
The Patriots had to survive one last charge by the Capers (16-2), who have made a habit of late-inning, two-out rallies. Cape got a run in the bottom of the sixth when Elise Flathers doubled and scored on a two-out single by Hannah Saturley.
Then the Capers threatened with two outs in the seventh when Ashley Tinsman was walked and Emma O'Rourke singled. But Greaton got the final out on a fly to right fielder Anna Knapp and the Patriots celebrated.
"We get to keep playing," said Adams. "We've really come together as a team and it feels good to get what we've worked so hard for."
Cape Elizabeth beat the Patriots 14-2 in the regular season but Greaton was injured and didn't pitch. "And it was our worst game of the year," said Harmon. "But we've played, what, 14 games since then? A lot has changed."
And Greaton kept the Capers off-balance. "She was solid today," said Adams. "She threw beautiful pitches. She was on top of her game."
"She worked the whole plate," said Harmon. "Inside, out and up. She kept her composure."
Capers Coach Joe Henrickson said his batters simply couldn't stay off the high pitch.
"We couldn't put anything together against her," he said. "I can't pinpoint why but we chased the high pitch all game. And that took us out of our game."
And it's the Patriots who are moving on.
"Right now," said Greaton, "we just want to keep playing."
Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: