SACO — The ball squirted toward the backstop and Renee Gonneville, inching away from third base, thought to herself, “Do I stay or do I go?”

She went, and Thornton Academy walked away with a wild softball victory in the rain Wednesday evening. Gonneville, a sophomore first baseman, scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the seventh inning to give the Trojans a 10-9 win over Windham.

The Trojans (2-1) twice rallied in the final three innings, after Windham scored four runs in the fifth and five in the sixth. Thornton tied it with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, with Hannah Lappin and Claudia Pelletier driving in the runs, then won it in the seventh without a hit.

“It was unreal,” said Thornton pitcher Abby Miner, who hit a long home run in the fifth inning. “I feel like our positivity throughout the game was unbelievable. We kept cheering and kept going and there was not a time when we were down. I love how we all have fight and it’s never-ending.”

Thornton led 2-0 through four tidy innings. Then the rain came and changed everything. The ball was slicker and produced seven errors over the final three innings.

Windham (2-2) scored four in the fifth to go ahead, then Thornton got five in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead, 7-4.

But the Eagles scored five in the sixth, an inning in which Thornton’s first-year head coach, Tony Miner, was ejected after two close plays went against the Trojans. “I’ll be better,” he said afterward. “I’ll be more patient. It won’t happen again.”

That sixth inning rally started with a two-run homer by Hannah Heanssler, who entered the game earlier as a defensive replacement. Ellen Files drove in the final two runs with a single.

Then the Trojans tied it in the bottom of the sixth as Lappin and Pelletier executed perfect squeeze bunts.

In the seventh, Thornton loaded the bases with three walks – two intentional – sandwiched around a pair of strikeouts by freshman Brooke Gerry, who had 12 strikeouts for the Eagles. With Lappin up again, Gerry’s fourth pitch squirted away and Gonneville, after a slight pause, came in with the winning run.

“There was a little hesitation,” said Gonneville. “The play before, the catcher caught it and I didn’t think she caught it, so I had to go back. We had to keep our mindset positive. And we pushed through.”

It was a tough loss for the Eagles, who got another strong pitching performance from Gerry, a freshman.

“I like what I see,” said Windham Coach Fred Wilcox. “This is a young team and we’re still trying to feel our way through the season. Our pitchers are throwing well, the catching is doing well, we’re starting to hit the ball, which is promising. If we take a little jump in our defense, I think we’re in any game.”

 

 

 

 


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