YARMOUTH – Yarmouth jumped on just about every offensive opportunity it got Wednesday in the opening inning of a 4-2 victory over Falmouth in a Western Maine Conference softball game.

Then, over the course of the next six innings, the Clippers had to hold off the Yachtsmen.

Falmouth put runners in scoring position five times in five innings and cut Yarmouth’s lead to 3-2 in the top of the fourth. But in the late innings, the Yachtsmen couldn’t capitalize on their best scoring chances.

“We persevered through that,” said Yarmouth pitcher McKenzie Gray, whose team is second in the Western Class B Heal point standings and plays its final regular-season game at 4 p.m. today at Greely.

Trailing 3-2, the Yachtsmen put runners in scoring position in the fifth and sixth innings. They had runners on first and second and no outs in the top of the fifth as a result of a fielding error, but the Clippers retired the next three batters to keep the one-run lead.

Yarmouth added a run in the bottom of the inning when pinch-runner Sarah Crommett scored on a passed ball.

In the sixth, Falmouth had runners on first and third with two outs, but Jessie L’Heureux grounded out to end the inning.

“We focused on getting the outs and seeing each batter one at a time,” Gray said. “We wanted to not let them score, but we had to focus on getting the outs and making sure they didn’t get on base.”

Gray, a sophomore left-hander, struck out five in the complete-game win to help the Clippers win their fifth consecutive game.

Falmouth (7-6), however, limited the Clippers to three hits; in their five previous games, they had averaged nearly eight hits a game, including four in their last loss, a 4-3 decision May 13 at Falmouth.

Maddie Inlow scored both runs for the Yachtsmen, who trailed 3-0 after the Clippers (13-2) rallied with two hits and an error in the first inning.

“It was really important to start off quickly,” Gray said. “Those quick hits and our first three runs were really important because it really got momentum on our side.”

But a rash of errors by the Clippers — five in the next five innings — helped the Yachtsmen cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of the second and 3-2 in the top of the fourth, as Inlow scored first on an error and then on Sarah Sparks’ single.

“They seemed to create a lot of those situations,” Yarmouth Coach Jim Senecal said. “It was tough for us to settle down defensively.”

Both Senecal and Falmouth Coach John Keyes credited Gray’s effectiveness against Falmouth’s batting order at key times in helping the Clippers hold off the Yachtsmen.

“When we hit the ball solid, we made some things happen,” Keyes said. “But we didn’t get any hits with people on base.

“(Gray) kept us off balance. She pitched a heck of a game.”

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be contacted at 791-6415 or at:
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