– By MIKE LOWE

Staff Writer

FALMOUTH – Down four runs, the softball players from Poland Regional High hung their heads. Coach Katharine McKay pulled the players together.

It’s not over, she told them. There were still three innings left to play.

The Knights needed only one.

Poland sent 15 batters to the plate in the top of the fifth inning, scoring 10 times, as the 10th-ranked Knights defeated No. 7 Falmouth 10-7 in a Western Class B preliminary round softball game Tuesday afternoon.

The Knights had eight hits in the inning and took advantage of three Falmouth errors to take the lead. Brittina Maheux had a two-run double, Lindsey Theriault had a two-run single and four other players knocked in runs with singles.

“One of our coaches told the girls that the game was not a sprint but a marathon,” said McKay, of the pre-fifth inning pep talk. “And that’s what our girls had to realize. They were trying to do too much too quickly and I think their heads got down when we were down 4-0.

“We just had to get back on track.”

The victory lifted the Knights (11-6) to Thursday’s quarterfinals at No.2 Cape Elizabeth at 3:30 p.m. Falmouth finished 9-8, twice losing to Poland.

The Yachtsmen had scored four runs in the third, three coming in on a towering home run by sophomore Elizabeth Walker. But then came the fifth, when the young Falmouth team saw the game slip away.

A single, botched sacrifice bunt and another single (by Amanda Gibson) led to a run for Poland. Another sacrifice bunt was misplayed by Falmouth, loading the bases. That led, one out later, to Maheux’s two-run double.

Theriault followed with a two-run single and suddenly the Knights were ahead, and didn’t let up. Melora Lavoie, Michaella Arsenault and Paige Brousseau would all contribute run-scoring singles before the inning ended with Poland up 10-4.

“Our wheels came off a bit,” said Falmouth Coach Ray Fox. “They capitalized after (our errors). We just panicked a couple of times and, I don’t know, took our minds off it when we could have made a play.

“But absolutely give them credit. They hit the ball. They adjusted at the plate well and put the bat on the ball.”

Falmouth scored three in the bottom of the fifth, two coming in on a double by Amanda Carver, before McKay brought Kolby Woods in relief of starter Kylie Martin. Woods allowed only one hit — a double by Walker, who had three hits — the rest of the way.

“We’ve got two good ones,” said McKay, of her pitchers. “I’ve got confidence in both my pitchers. They’re sophomores. They’ve got each other’s back. If one’s got the lead, the other one is going to keep it.”

 

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH