WATERBORO — Noble High softball coach Rick Melanson sensed his team was not sure of itself coming back from a spring trip to Florida.

“We faced some great competition,” he said. “And we got beat up. But I kept telling the kids, there was a reason for it.”

Losing in Florida has led to winning in Maine. Noble improved to 3-0 Wednesday afternoon with a 4-2 victory over Massabesic. The Knights rallied for three runs in the final two innings as they handed the Mustangs their first loss in three games.

“That’s what high school softball is supposed to be about,” said Massabesic Coach Kevin Tutt. “It was a great game.”

And one, he said, that taught his Mustangs something about themselves.

“To compete, that’s a good sign for us,” he said. “We talked about trying to find a barometer of where we are, and I think we’re right where we need to be.”

Noble’s Raegan Kelly allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out five. Massabesic’s Julia Gregoire, pitching in her first game in two years after having labrum surgery, allowed five hits while striking out seven.

Noble led 1-0 after three innings on a Kelsey Lessard RBI single. But the Mustangs took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth.

Gregoire led off the inning with Massabesic’s first hit, a liner to center field. After Lauren Kiss walked, Emily Davison put down a sacrifice bunt, moving the runners to second and third.

Hailey Caswell followed with another bunt and reached safely when no play was made to first. Gregoire, meanwhile, scored when the Knights threw the ball away trying to get Kiss in a rundown. Zoey DeAngelis followed with a squeeze bunt, driving in Kiss with the second run.

“We knew hits were going to come sparingly,” said Tutt. “So we had to force the issue. And the kids really executed.”

Noble tied it with an unearned run in the sixth, scoring on an infield error. Then the Knights went ahead in the seventh.

With one out, Kassidy Lessard was hit by a pitch. Emily Sanfacon followed with a single to right, then was replaced by a pinch runner, Kailee Sprague. Lessard was forced at third when Gregoire made a nice play on a bunt by Abby Lewis, but Sprague and Lewis advanced on a throwing error, putting runners on second and third.

Sprague scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. Sammie Morrill, who had two hits, looped a single to left that drove home Lewis.

“There was a lot of stress, but I knew I had to put the ball in play,” said Morrill, who missed last year because of a knee injury. “I thought there was a chance of it dropping.”

Kelly put the Mustangs down 1-2-3 in the seventh.

“I think this is a really good start for us,” said Kelly. “It definitely gets our momentum going and gives us confidence going forward.”

Mike Lowe – 791-6422

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