Looking down and out late in the SMAA softball semifinal against Biddeford on Friday, the Gorham Rams once again showed their resiliency, coming back to secure a big win.

Gorham rallied to tie Biddeford in the top of the sixth inning, then scored five runs in the ninth to top the Tigers 8-4 in Friday’s game at Doran Field in Biddeford.

“That’s the way we’ve been all year long,” said Gorham coach Pete Walker. “We just keep playing until we get something started to give ourselves a chance. It seems like every game, it’s someone different.”

The Rams trailed 3-1 with one out in the sixth inning and Biddeford’s starting pitcher Savannah Brownell cruising along, having retired 11 batters in a row. Rachel Fogarty tripled to right to give Gorham life. Sara Burnheimer followed with a grounder back to the mound. Brownell looked the runner back at third, but hesitated and was unable to get the out at first. Burnheimer stole second and Kelsey Crowe followed with a single to short center field that scored Fogarty and Burnheimer to tie the score at 3-3.

“We had the game, I thought, firmly in control,” said Biddeford coach Leon Paquin. “Then we made a mental mistake and they tied the game. We should have won 3-1. But when you make a mistake, good teams will take advantage of it. That’s what we do to teams when they make a mistake, but this time we blinked. When you do that against a good team, you get burned sometimes, and we did.”

The game remained tied at 3-3 into extra innings. After a scoreless eighth, Krista Keene led off the ninth for the Rams with sharp hit up the middle that struck Brownell on her pitching hand. She gathered the ball, but overthrew first. Keene reached second on the error. Brownell had to leave the game, with Erin Grover moving from second base to the mound for the Tigers.

Chelsea Clark doubled to the wall in center to score Keene. After a groundout, Mia McGill’s single scored Clark. Lauren Chouinard followed with an RBI triple and scored on Monique King’s single. Fogarty then doubled to plate King and give the Rams an 8-3 lead.

Biddeford got one run back in the bottom of the ninth. Aimee Mortensen reached on an error and scored on Nikki Kimborowicz’s double – the first hit surrendered by Crowe since the fourth inning. Crowe worked a complete game for the Rams, striking out five and allowing seven hits.

Gorham had 11 hits.

The Rams took a 1-0 lead in the second as McGill’s single scored Kate Perkins, who was running for Crowe. Biddeford countered with two runs in the third, as Kimborowicz led off with a double and scored on Cady Gagnon’s single. Gagnon eventually came around to score on Tracey Gouin’s groundout. Kaleigh Daigneault doubled to start the fourth for the Tigers. She scored on an error to make it 3-1.

It was the third straight time Biddeford and Gorham have gone to extra innings. They played 10 innings when the met in the regular season, a 5-4 Biddeford victory. Last season, they played 13 innings. Gorham also played a 16-inning game against South Portland a few weeks back.

“I asked their coach if he got paid by the inning,” Paquin joked.

The teams could play again on Saturday in the Western Maine Class A semifinals. Biddeford is seeded second and Gorham is third. Both teams are scheduled to host quarterfinal games on Thursday.

“If we happen to meet, it will be fun. It will be the rubber match,” Paquin said.

The SMAA tournament does not count toward the teams’ season record. It involves the top four teams in the league and is played between the conclusion of the Maine Principals’ Association regular season and the start of the state tournament. Biddeford concluded the regular season at 14-2. Gorham finished 13-3.

Gorham lost to Scarborough 1-0 on Tuesday night in the SMAA title game. Scarborough pitcher Melissa Dellatorre tossed a perfect game with 14 strikeouts to lead the top-seeded Red Storm past the Rams.

Walker said the SMAA tournament games serve as a good tune-up for the state tournament.

“I like them,” Walker said. “We can try different things. Hopefully you don’t get an injury. It’s good competition. It’s unfortunate that we played them now and we might play them again right off, but there are no secrets. We know what each other has and what’s out there.”


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