Thornton Academy’s Jessica Dow slides into home plate to score the winning run in the Trojan’s 4-3 win in nine innings over South Portland in a Class A South Round of 16 game on Tuesday in Saco. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

SACO — It took an extra hour, but the Thornton Academy softball team finally finished off No. 12 South Portland. The Golden Trojans won 4-3 in nine innings Tuesday in a Class A South prelim that featured a little bit of everything.

The Red Riots started fast before the Golden Trojans rallied in the seventh. Then, with the game hanging in the balance, there was an hour-long thunder delay, which was followed by Renee Gonneville’s dribbler in front of the plate that scored Jess Dow to give Thornton Academy the victory.

“Our resiliency was huge,” said Thornton Academy Coach Tony Miner. “We’ve seen it all year. We’re young, but we showed our mental toughness.”

Gonneville’s bleeder and Dow’s dash home sent Thornton Academy (13-4) to Thursday’s quarterfinals, where it will host No. 13 Portland (8-9).

“I was just trying to stay out of my head,” Gonneville said. “I was trying to hit it anywhere to advance the runner.”

Thornton Academy pitcher Abigail Miner delivers a pitch during the Trojan’s win on Tuesday. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

South Portland scored twice in the top of the first when Andrea DiMauro hit a two-out, bases-loaded, two-run single off Abby Miner.

The Red Riots added a run in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Ella Nickerson.

The Golden Trojans got to South Portland pitcher Mia Micucci in the bottom half as Abby Miner helped herself with a two-run single, making it 3-2.

In the seventh, Dow led off with a ground-rule double down the right-field line. Claudia Pelletier sacrificed her to third and Miner was intentionally walked before Bailey Littlefield hit a bouncer off Micucci’s glove to tie the game. Thornton Academy had runners at second and third with one out, but Micucci got a strikeout and flyout to send the game to extra innings.

After a quiet eighth inning, South Portland loaded the bases with one out in the top of the ninth, but Miner got Nickerson to chase strike three before getting DiMauro to ground to Dow at third, who bobbled the ball, recovered, then tagged the base to retire the side.

Dow led off the bottom half with a single and was sacrificed to second. Miner was walked intentionally, bringing up Littlefield.

Then, with the count 2-2, thunder was heard and the contest was paused.

When play resumed, Littlefield walked, setting the stage for Gonneville, who worked the count full, then hit a little ground ball in front of the plate. Micucci got to it and threw home, but Dow slid in safely to end a game that took 3 hours, 35 minutes.

Thornton Academy players run on to the field to celebrat after Jessica Dow scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

“I knew as soon as the ball hit the ground, I had to go home,” Dow said. “It worked out well. I knew we’d dig in and get the win.”

South Portland finishes 8-9.

“I’ve been saying all year that we’re better than our record and this was by far the best game the kids played all season,” said Red Riots Coach Ralph Aceto. “We had chances.”


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