York High’s softball hopes took a big jolt last Wednesday when sophomore pitcher Abby Orso suffered a broken left arm in the final inning of a 2-0 victory over Cape Elizabeth.

The Wildcats were 3-0 after that win – with Orso throwing shutouts in all three games – but have since lost four in a row after Tuesday’s loss at Yarmouth. They’ve given up 58 runs in the four losses.

“We were off to a good start,” said Kevin Giannino, York’s first-year coach. “We were really optimistic. At this point, I don’t know what to expect.

“We went from having a conversation about having a deep playoff run to asking when we’re going to win our next game.”

The right-hander Orso was that dominant. She had 41 strikeouts in the three games and had also hit three home runs, including two against the Capers. But in the bottom of the seventh, Cape Elizabeth put a couple of runners on and the next batter hit a blooper between the pitching circle and second base position. Orso turned to make the play and stumbled, falling onto her left side as she made the catch.

But, Giannino said, “You could tell she was in a lot of pain. We rushed out to see her and she said she was OK so she stayed in. She struck out two to end the game.”

The pain didn’t subside, however, and the next day Orso went to see a doctor. An MRI determined she had broken a bone in her upper-left arm. Giannino said the recovery time is four-to-five weeks, which means she will likely miss the rest of the season.

York was looking like a Class B South contender in its first three games. In addition to Orso, the Wildcats were receiving strong contributions from junior catcher Kayla Dredge and seniors Kiley Blondin (shortstop), Wendy Donnell (second base) and Lexi York (center field).

Orso’s replacement was freshman Colleen Daly. But she took a line drive off her facemask on Monday and had to be replaced. Giannino said the team may have to improvise as it moves forward.

“After the game (Monday), we had open tryouts to see who could get the ball over the plate,” he said. “I don’t know what we’re going to do. But, as I told the girls, adversity is part of life and we’ve got to learn to deal with it.”

WELLS HAS appeared to right itself. The Warriors, preseason favorites in Class B South, lost two of their first three games. They have won their last four to move to 5-2 and into third in a very competitive region. “We’ve settled in a bit,” said Wells Coach Kevin Fox.

What’s interesting about Wells’ surge is that it’s being done without senior lefty Anya Chase pitching. Chase was battling a hip injury at the start of the year that bothered her when she was pitching. It was decided to shut her down for at least two weeks.

“Nothing else bothered her, she could still field and hit,” said Fox, of Chase, who is playing second. “She’s an exceptional player no matter where she is.”

Junior Karissa Kenyon took over as pitcher and has been exceptional. “We knew Karissa could throw,” said Fox. “But I think she’s even exceeded some of our expectations.”

She hasn’t allowed more than four hits in any of the four victories and has struck out 45. Her teammates, meanwhile, began to play better.

“We just needed to get outside,” said Fox. “Our first game, we hadn’t had any practices outside. It’s about repetition and fundamentals, allowing the players to get to know one another, creating a varsity mentality for the younger kids, learning to play with a sense of emergency.”

TRAIP SENIOR Reilly Eddy passed a pitching milestone last week when she went over 500 career strikeouts. She hit the milestone in the sixth inning of the second game of a doubleheader with Sacopee Valley. Eddy now has 526 strikeouts heading into Wednesday’s game with York.

“She’s probably the best kid you’ll ever meet,” said Traip Coach Chris Andrews. “On the team, all the kids look up to her and go to her for extra help. She’s always helping the girls with something.”

Eddy, who will next attend Maine Maritime Academy, throws a fastball, rise, curve, change-up, screwball and drop.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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