STANDISH  — As Jan Corliss approached her celebrating Bonny Eagle High softball team, the tears welled in her eyes. And with good reason.

The eighth-ranked Scots rallied from a nine-run deficit to defeat ninth-ranked Cheverus/North Yarmouth Academy 12-9 Tuesday afternoon in a Class A South preliminary round playoff game. Bonny Eagle scored six runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. Freshman Emma Burnham drove in five of the runs, three on a game-tying home run in the sixth.

Corliss, who had announced in the preseason that this was her last season, said it was the most satisfying win “in 30 years, in my career. I’ve never been privileged enough to coach a comeback like that. And to watch your team do it … I didn’t know what to say to them.”

Who did? The Stags, who had beaten Bonny Eagle 15-2 on May 6, were in complete control after scoring eight runs in the top of the fifth. And then they weren’t.

“I think the most crucial part of a game is what happens after one team scores,” said Stags Coach Theresa Hendrix, who made four pitching changes in the fateful innings. “And (the Scots) didn’t hang their heads, they came back and took our high and made it into a long inning for us.”

Bonny Eagle (10-7) will play at top-ranked Scarborough (16-0) in the Class A South quarterfinals Thursday. The Scots have gone 8-2 since that loss to Cheverus/NYA.

The Stags (8-9) sent 13 batters to the plate in the top of the fifth, getting eight hits to score eight runs and lead 9-0. Mackenzie Turner, Madisyn Durgin and Caroline Taylor had RBI singles, Elizabeth Kennedy a two-run single and Caitlin Kennedy-Jensen an RBI double.

But the Scots weren’t done, starting the comeback with six in the bottom of the inning.

“I had faith in our team that we could come back, and we did,” said Burnham, who pitched the first five innings. “Our bats showed up right after that. I knew we could do it.”

Bonny Eagle had only one hit in the bottom of the fifth – Burnham’s two-run double – but the Scots were aided by two walks, a hit batter and three errors. Then in the bottom of the sixth, Bonny Eagle got six more.

Mackenzie Emery led off with a single. After a walk, Burnham drilled a pitch well over the left-field fence for a three-run home run to tie the game at 9.

“I had told (Burnham) the time up before (in the fifth), ‘Next time go for the fence,’ ” said Corliss. “Boy she got all of that one. Hooey!”

A hit batter and a single put runners on first and second. With one out, sophomore Ari Mejias looped a single to center, knocking in Makala Greene with the go-ahead run.

“When I got up there I knew I had to do something for the team,” said Mejias. “I just really wanted to get contact and drive a run in if possible.”

Sophomore catcher Hannah Kaspereen then drove a triple over the right fielder’s head, scoring two and it was stunningly 12-9.

Junior Kailee Cummings came in relief of Burnham and pitched two hitless innings for the win.

“I didn’t focus on anything in particular, I just knew that I had to do my job,” said Cummings. “I was confident because the past eight games, the bats have been hot.”

The Scots are also trying to extend Corliss’ final season as far as possible.

“I feel like we’re all really close with Coach,” said Mejias.” And we want to go as far as we can with all of us together.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.