FRYEBURG — After missing the playoffs last year, Abby Orso and York High’s softball team made it a goal to earn the No.1 seed in Class B South this year.

Wednesday afternoon, they likely secured it. Orso, the outstanding junior pitcher, struck out 15 and worked out of a couple of late-inning jams as York defeated Fryeburg Academy, 4-3. The Raiders (13-3) entered the game ranked No. 1 in Class B South, with the Wildcats (13-2) second, positions that will be swapped following York’s ninth consecutive win.

“Coming off a rough year last year, we really wanted to prove ourselves and come back this year,” said York center fielder Meg Bachelder, who had two singles, drove in a run and scored the winning run. “We have a really great team and this really means a lot.”

York won its first three games a year ago, then Orso broke her left arm, and the Wildcats won only two games the rest of the season. So coming in No. 1 this year is a big deal for them.

“It was a goal from the beginning of the year,” said Coach Kevin Giannino. “If we’re going to play this thing and play like we should, let’s go for No. 1.”

“It means a ton,” said Orso. “It just shows how much we really improved. The whole team came together.”

Orso, who allowed nine hits and walked one, was matched nearly pitch-for-pitch by freshman Camden Jones, making her first varsity start. Jones allowed five hits and struck out 10.

“I wanted to see what would happen,” Fryeburg Coach Fred Apt said of the decision to start Jones instead of Emilia DeSanctis. “And Cam did a really good job. We just couldn’t get the big hit. We gave ourselves some opportunities but couldn’t come through. And you can’t do that against (Orso).”

York scored first, when Orso walked, stole second and came around on a throwing error in the top of the first. Then Fryeburg got its first two batters on in the bottom of the first, but Orso struck out the next three.

York made it 3-0 in the third when Hannah Gennaro scored on a throwing error and Orso came in on a single by Bachelder. Then Fryeburg made it interesting.

The Raiders got two unearned runs in the fifth, both scoring on a double by Jones. After Bachelder scored on a squeeze bunt by Isabelle Babcock in the top of the sixth to make it 4-2, Fryeburg loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom half. But again, Orso got out of it with a strikeout.

Then in the seventh, a two-out single by Paige O’Connell drove in Morgan Fusco to make it 4-3. But Orso ended the game with her 15th strikeout.

“She’s a great competitor,” said Giannino of Orso. “She was very gritty today.”

“It got a little nerve-wracking,” Orso said of the finish. “You’ve got to take it one batter at a time. You can’t worry about who’s on base.”


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