Brunswick High School’s Blake Austin, left, and Shea Sullivan look towards first as Austin makes the throw in a high school softball game against Cony at Kents Hill. The Rams won the game in 8 innings, 15-14. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

Kents Hill — Cate Fairbrother-White grounded a single up the middle to plate Gaby McGuire with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning as Cony scored three runs in the frame to come back for a 15-14 victory in the season opener for both teams. 

The game between the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference foes was played on the turf at Kents Hill School. 

“It was great to see the girls battle and not give up,” Cony coach Ray Bowden said, filling in for head coach Angela McKenna. “It was tough falling behind early and battling the wind, but they came through.” 

“There’s a lot of positives that can be taken from this game,” Brunswick coach Hugh Dwyer said. “It was kind of tough conditions out here and with the turf and no fences, it posed challenges for both teams.” 

Brunswick jumped all over the Rams in the top of the first. The first five batters reached safely to begin the game. Following a lead-off single and a walk, Shea Sullivan roped a two-run double for the first runs of the season. After Alexis Guptill’s sacrifice, Riley McAllaster smacked a line drive into the gap and ran around the bases for two-run homer. After sending 10 batters to the plate, Brunswick led 6-0 after a half inning. 

“Scoring a lot of runs is huge for us, it was important to have everyone hitting,” Sullivan said. “We had some key hits in some big spots today.” 

Cony answered in the bottom half, taking advantage of three Sullivan walks and a hit batsman and scoring five runs, highlighted by a Carly Lettre triple that scored a pair of runs. 

Brunswick’s Riley McAllaster makes a catch in right field during a high school softball game against Cony at Kents Hill School. The Rams beat the Dragons, 15-14 in 8 innings. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

“Everyone in this lineup, up and down it can hit,” Bowden said. “You never know who’s going to be the hero, that’s what’s pretty cool about this group.” 

Brunswick scored an unearned run in the second, while keeping Cony off the scoreboard the next two innings as the Dragons held a 7-5 lead after three innings. 

The Dragons used the long ball in the fourth, getting a pair of runs on back-to-back home runs from Sullivan and Mia Klimash on consecutive pitches that found the left-center gap and rolled away from the Cony outfielders to go up by four runs, 9-5. 

“Not having a fence was a disadvantage defensively for both teams,” Lettre said. 

Cony bounced back again in the home half of the inning. Brooklyn Belanger and McGuire led off the frame with singles and both eventually came around to score on passed balls. Alexis Couverette knocked one of her two hits, and after a walk and another hit batsman, Sam Melland hit a two-run single to tie the score at nine apiece. Sullivan fanned the next two batters to strand two runners. 

Brunswick tallied two more runs in the fifth after a walk and a Cony error put two runners on for Sullivan. The senior smacked her third hit of the game to drive in both. 

The Rams pulled within one after Lettre walked, stole two bases, and Couverette hit another single in as many innings to drive in the run. 

With an 11-10 lead, Brunswick pushed the advantage to two with a run in the top half of the seventh. Morgan Foster led off the inning with a triple and eventually came in to score on a passed ball. Cony intentionally walked Sullivan and McGuire struck out the next two batters to keep the deficit at two, 12-10. 

Once again, Cony answered in the home half. McGuire led off the seventh with a single and three pitches later came around to score on a Lettre home run that sailed into the wind over the outfielders. After a pair of Sullivan strikeouts, the Rams nearly pulled off the win after the Dragons committed two errors, putting runners on. But Sullivan reached back and recorded one of her seven strikeouts to force extra innings. 

Brunswick’s Alexis Guptill smacks a single during the eighth inning of a high school softball game against Cony at Kents Hill School. The Rams scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat the Dragons, 15-14. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

Guptill singled to open the eighth and scored the go-ahead run off a Lauren Whitlock single. After Whitlock advanced to third on a passed ball, Mia DeSantis sacrificed her home for a two-run cushion, 14-12. 

But as the story had been all afternoon, Cony came back. Alena Ambers recorded her first hit of the game to open the inning, Belanger walked and McGuire grabbed her third hit, loading the bases for Lettre. The junior hit the first pitch she saw, driving in the tying runs and setting up Fairbrother-White’s heroics. 

“She’s (Lettre) our big hitter,” Bowden said. “We also have some other big hitters, but she comes up big for us.” 

Lettre finished with four hits, including a triple and a homer, while driving in six runs for the Rams (1-0).

“We really didn’t give up. We came to win, we wanted to win, and we won,” Lettre said. “We didn’t give up because we were down, and we overcame some errors in the field to pull it out.” 

McGuire added three hits, scoring three runs and stealing two bases. Couverette and Melland each had two hits for Cony in the victory. 

McGuire earned the win on the mound, allowing 15 hits, walking four, while fanning five. 

For Brunswick (0-1), Sullivan tallied three hits while knocking in five Dragons. Second baseman Morgan Plourde also had three hits, while Foster and McAllaster each had a pair. Foster also scored three runs in the loss. 

Sullivan went the distance on the mound for Brunswick, allowing 14 hits, while walking eight, hitting two batters and striking out seven in the loss. 

“We have six or seven freshman, (so) to come out and swing the bats like we did, it was a good start,” Dwyer said. “We feel the more we play, we think they’ll be able to make the turn, they really handled themselves today and that’s encouraging.” 

Brunswick will play Bangor on Friday at Lewiston High School at 4:30 p.m.

 

With an 11-10 lead, Brunswick pushed the lead to two with a run in the top half of the seventhMorgan Foster led off the inning with a triple and eventually came in to score on a passed ball. Cony intentionally walked Sullivan and McGuire struck out the next two batters t

Brunswick’s Shea Sullivan, left, attempts to put a tag on Cony’s Alexis Couverette following a passed ball in the first inning of Tuesday’s high school softball game at Kents Hill School. The Rams won in 8 innings, 15-14. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

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