STANDISH – A two-RBI double to deep center by Molly Hague put Bonny Eagle up 3-1 early in Tuesday’s preliminary matchup against visiting Gorham, propelling the Scots to a 4-1 win to advance to the quarterfinals.

The 11th-ranked Rams finish their season 6-11, while the Scots, seeded sixth, improve to 11-5-1, and move onto the Class A West quarterfinals, where they face third-place Sanford on Thursday.

“We made some plays, kept us in the game, but giving up those three runs in the first inning really hurt us,” Gorham head coach Steve Martin said.

“This is the best defense we’ve played all year,” Bonny Eagle head coach Sue Rondeau said. “I don’t think we even had one error – well, we had one, but we played it, when we needed it, defensively.”

Gorham struck first, when Sam Robinson grounded to third and beat the throw to arrive safely at first, then advanced to second on Emily Deluca’s sacrifice bunt and dashed to third on Patty Smith’s grounder into centerfield. One wild pitch later, Robinson had run home to put the Rams on top, 1-0.

But the Scots immediately answered. Allie Pike sent a drive into left to take first, then Kelsy Gaddy walked, taking first for herself and pushing Pike to second. During Ally Pillar’s at-bat, both Pike and Gaddy stole forward one base, then Pillar grounded to third; the throw to first was late, leaving Pillar safe, and the throw to home was too much for the catcher to handle, allowing Pike to score and Gaddy to reach third.

The score was tied, 1-1, when Hague stepped into the box. Her shot to the outfield rushed Gaddy and Pillar across the plate, give Bonny Eagle an advantage Gorham would never overcome.

From the second to the sixth, both teams’ offenses went silent. “I think…we shut them down,” Martin said, happy with the Rams’ adjustments after their troubled first inning.

“I think we were just trying to swing too big,” Rondeau said of the Scots’ lessened output in the middle of the game. “We got some really good hits in that first inning, so I think our eyes got a little too big and we weren’t just focusing on shoring up our swings and getting line drives. So we hit a lot to centerfield, a lot of pop flies. I think we just started to get a little too anxious at bat, instead of disciplined.”

In the top of the fourth, Rondeau swapped starting pitcher Erica Sullivan out for Pike. Sullivan was performing fine – Rondeau made the change to show the Rams a thrower they had some reason to fear. “Alli Pike pitched against them the first time, and did a really good job,” Rondeau said. “We had Erica on the mound today, just because she ended the season doing well. So it was more of a gut feeling. I think Gorham got a little confidence, getting that run in the first, so I just wanted to get Alli back out there and put that back down.”

“We didn’t get our bats going at all,” Martin said. “We left probably five or six runners on base; we just couldn’t move them.”

Sullivan gets the win for Bonny Eagle, while Katelyn Wilson takes the loss for Gorham.

Gorham is done for the year, and Martin looks forward to the Rams’ next opportunity to prove themselves. “A lot of progress,” he said of the team’s 2013. “We’ve got some senior leaders that really stepped up; we’ve got some role-players that didn’t get much playing time but…were supportive all year. I think, going forward, we’re pretty optimistic. We’ve been 6-10 regular season the last three years. We’re on the verge of turning that around.”

Bonny Eagle now looks forward to Sanford.

“I’m excited,” Rondeau said. “We went there [on May 3] and we had four errors in that first inning, and we gave them four runs in the first inning, and lost 5-1. I think if we play defensively the way we did today, and keep it a close ballgame, it should be a good game. Adams is a very good pitcher, she’s been tough to hit, but if we keep the score low, I think we have a good chance.”

Bonny Eagle’s Mariah Harrison gets caught sliding into third by Rams’ third baseman Lindsey Wilcox.
Bonny Eagle third baseman Megan McGarey awaits the play.
Scots starting pitcher Erica Sullivan unleashes a pitch towards home Tuesday afternoon. Bonny Eagle won the prelim bout, 4-1.
Gorham’s Sam Robinson jumps off second base, headed for third.
Gorham’s Gabby Martell slides into second.
Gorham’s Katelyn Wilson unwinds into her throw.

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