June 7, 2013

Softball: Sanford wins with a run in seventh

Two freshmen come through for Sanford, backing Sam Adams' tough pitching.

By Steve Craig scraig@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

SANFORD - Sanford High senior pitcher Sam Adams performed like she has all year -- brilliantly.

Two freshmen produced the winning run with consecutive two-out hits in the seventh inning Thursday as third-seeded Sanford downed No. 6 Bonny Eagle 2-1 in a Western Class A quarterfinal.

The game took just 1:06 to complete, with Adams (three-hitter, two walks, 12 strikeouts) locked in a pitchers' duel with Bonny Eagle's Allie Pike (six hits, one hit batter, four strikeouts).

Then Sanford freshman Jen Jones ripped a liner to left-center and hustled into second for a double when the Bonny Eagle defense was slow getting the ball back to the infield.

"I was just praying I'd get a hit because I'd struck out my first two at-bats," Jones said. "I always strike out on curves, but this time I hit it."

That brought Jordan Wilson to the plate. She had hit the ball hard both times, lining to right on a shoe-top catch by Breanna Lifland and hitting a sharp grounder that first baseman Ally Pillar turned into an out.

Despite the previous solid contact, Wilson was unnerved by the situation.

"I thought I was going to throw up. I was really, really scared," Wilson said.

Scared or not, she hit a sharp grounder up the middle. Center fielder Lindsey Gammon made a strong throw, but catcher Becca Howell had to come one step in front of the plate to catch it.

In Howell's haste to apply the tag, she lost control of the ball, making a likely tough call a non-issue as Jones slid in to end the game.

"Just a one hit difference. A one-hit difference," Bonny Eagle Coach Sue Rondeau said.

Sanford (12-5) will play in a regional semifinal Saturday at second-seeded South Portland (16-1).

"I am thanking (the freshmen) very much," Adams said. "I mean, I have faith in them. They're good hitters. We've always known that. I'm just proud of them."

Bonny Eagle (11-6-1) scored first in the top of the fourth on a bunt single by Kelsy Graddy, a sacrifice by Pillar and a two-out single to left by Howell.

That would be the Scots' final hit.

Sanford tied the game in the bottom half on a two-out single by Caitlin Pierce just inside the third-base line that scored Morgan Fogg, who had led off the inning with a single.

Adams was at her best in the top of the seventh.

Howell (2 for 3) reached on an error and went to second on a wild pitch.

Adams then struck out the side, despite allowing a walk to Megan McGary, who twice got the benefit of the call on borderline pitches.

"That kid was so focused today," Sanford Coach Kristi Cochin said.

"A couple calls don't go her way and it doesn't matter. She just came right back. Sam, all year, she's just been tough."

Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at:

scraig@mainetoday.com

Twitter: SteveCCraig

 

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