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Belfast rallies in 6th inning to knock off Winslow

Sport: Softball  Posted: June 10th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

WINSLOW -- The Winslow softball players and coaches sat on the outfield grass for about 15 minutes, making no attempt to shield themselves from Tuesday afternoon's steady rain. It would have been hard for any of them not to think about that one bad inning.

In the span of a few minutes, Winslow went from a four-run lead to a one-run deficit. Belfast, which had barely squeaked into the playoffs as the 14th seed, held on and ended Winslow's season with a shocking 6-5 victory in an Eastern B preliminary round game.

Belfast (7-10) will play at No. 11 Gardiner, another upset winner Tuesday, in the quarterfinals. Winslow, the No. 3 seed, ended its season 14-3.

Those outcomes didn't seem possible for most of the game. Winslow took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Beth Fisher singled home pitcher Julie Riordan.

After Belfast tied the score in the top of the fourth, Winslow scored three runs in the bottom of the inning on four singles and two Belfast errors. The Black Raiders made it 5-1 in the fifth when Fisher tripled and scored on a passed ball.

With two innings to go, Belfast had managed just one hit and struck out eight times against Riordan, and it appeared the Raiders would cruise to victory. But with the rain increasing in intensity, Riordan opened the sixth by walking the leadoff batter on four wet pitches, and Belfast's practice began to pay off.

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Waterville knocks off rival Winslow

Sport: Baseball  Posted: June 10th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE -- Tim Locke said it's been about three weeks since he pitched. Aside from one inning, the Waterville Senior High School sophomore showed no signs on rust in Tuesday's Eastern Class B preliminary round game against rival Winslow.

Locke gave up just two hits and struck out three while walking five as Waterville beat Winslow 6-1.

No. 3 Waterville (14-3) will host No. 11 Medomak Valley in the regional quarterfinals Thursday. No. 14 Winslow ended its season 9-8.

"When they got runs, (Locke) got confidence," Winslow coach Robin Weed said. "They've got a good team."

Locke had one shaky inning, the fourth. With one out, Johnny McCabe singled and Nate Martin and Ben Sandy drew back-to-back walks on eight consecutive balls. After a trip to the mound from Waterville coach Don Sawyer, Locke got an RBI groundout from Jack Nivison and a strikeout to get out of the jam.

"I just wasn't hitting my spots," Locke said. "I just had to settle down."

After issuing the back-to-back walks, Locke retired nine of the next 10 hitters he faced.

"He did get stronger," Sawyer said. "He said all he needed was a little pep talk."

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Morrill triples Tigers past Crusaders in extra innings

Sport: Baseball  Posted: June 10th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Skip Hawkes

BANGOR — The No. 10 Rockland baseball team made the trip to Husson University to face No. 7 John Bapst Tuesday in an Eastern Class B preliminary game at the John Winkin Sports Complex and pulled off the upset with a 3-1 eight inning win over the Crusaders.

Nick Little pitched the complete game win for the Tigers and Lucas Morrill drove in the game winning run to lead Rockland to the victory.

Rockland took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Little double to right center to score Andy Murphy, who reached on a base on balls. Little then retired nine of the next 10 Crusaders to keep the Tigers on top 1-0 through six innings.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Crusaders looked to put together a game winning rally when Chase Huckestein led off the inning with a single and Miles Gagnon followed with a walk. Things started going south on the Crusaders when Rockland catcher Joe Nelson picked off Gagnon at first base, his second pick off of the game. Ryan Carr delivered an RBI single to score Huckestein with the tying run, but Carr was called out due to coaches interference (a base coach is not allowed to touch a base runner). Little got the next batter to fly to center to send the game to extra innings.

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Kelly steps up to coach Tigers

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: June 10th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Randy Whitehouse , Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 10, 2009

While coaching at the middle school level for over 20 years, Brian Kelly wondered if he'd ever fulfill his dream of coaching basketball at the high school varsity level.

Jay High School rewarded the 51-year-old Kelly for his patience recently by promoting him as the new boys' varsity coach.

Kelly, Jay's junior varsity coach for the last three years, is the third varsity coach at Jay in as many years. He replaces Steve Hamilton, who stepped down after leading the Tigers to an 8-10 record in the only year of his third stint coaching Jay.

"In a way, I wondered if my chance at the varsity had passed me by," said Kelly, who lives in Wilton and is a physical education teacher there. "When I was younger, I had some people talk to me about going up to the high school at that point, but I had young kids at home myself and wanted to be involved with coaching them. I've got the time now, and I'm really grateful to (Jay activities coordinator) Mike Methvin for giving me the opportunity."

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Morse lifts Erskine

Sport: Softball  Posted: June 10th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

SOUTH CHINA -- It was an unlucky 13 as far as Waterville was concerned.

Erskine Academy junior Samantha Morse struck out 13 Purple Panthers, part of a two-hit shutout that led the seventh-seeded Eagles to a 2-0 win against No. 10 Waterville in the preliminary round of the Eastern Maine Class B softball tournament Tuesday afternoon.

Morse was more dominating than usual, retiring 19 of the first 20 batters she faced as Erskine (13-4) advanced to play at No. 2 Hermon on Thursday.

"She was definitely on her game," Erskine coach Mike Soule said of Morse. "She's a competitor. She knows what the stakes are in a game like this. She knows that we don't win if she doesn't bring her best, and we're going home.

"If anybody understands that, it's her."

Morse displayed that competitiveness in the eight. A couple of errors followed a one-out single for Waterville's Jess Boucher in the top of the seventh, as the Purple Panthers (10-7) rallied to load the bases with only one out.

"They got the bat on the ball (in the seventh)," Morse said. "I just had to dig down deep and finish it."

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Portland holds off South Portland 9-8 in girls' lacrosse prelim

Sport: Lacrosse (Boys)  Posted: June 10th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Michael Hoffer

Tuesday night, at a rainy Fitzpatrick Stadium, the Portland girls' lacrosse team found itself on the brink of letting a big second half lead slip away, but the Bulldogs were resilient, turned to their season long motto and figured out a way to hold on for a 9-8 Western Class A preliminary round win over South Portland to advance to Thursday's quarterfinal round at unbeaten and top-ranked Gorham (12-0).

The Red Riots finished 4-9.

The victory was just the third in program history and marked the first time that the Bulldogs had won playoff games in consecutive seasons.

"Our whole season has been figuring it out," said Portland's standout junior Nancy McAdam, who scored four goals. "We've had so many times where we had to start over. Our motto has been, 'figure it out.' It's something we had to get used to. It's kind of a theme nowadays."

Portland went 6-6 during the regular season for the second year in a row and wound up ranked eighth in the region. One of the Bulldogs' victories was an 7-6 home decision over the visiting Red Riots May 19.

South Portland wound up 4-8, but earned the No. 9 seed, thanks in large part to a season-ending 7-6 home win over Noble. The Red Riots were making their first postseason appearance since 2004.

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Cheverus boys' lacrosse keeps season alive with prelim win over Noble

Sport: Lacrosse (Boys)  Posted: June 10th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Michael Hoffer

Cheverus boys' lacrosse coach Deke Andrew wasn't even sure his team would be in the 2009 Western Class A playoffs prior to getting confirmation from the final Heal Points standings.

If that was a pleasant surprise, imagine how Andrew felt Tuesday after his Stags put forth a superb effort, leading from start to finish in a 10-2 preliminary round win over Noble in a game that was moved to the turf field at Deering High School due to bad weather.

Cheverus jumped out on top with three goals in the first period, turned it up in the second half, got a highlight reel goal from its goalie (really), and pulled away for the victory to advance to Thursday's quarterfinal round at No. 2 Scarborough.

"That was great," said Andrew. "I thought we really showed energy we haven't had in awhile. We put a little pressure on defensively and got ground balls. Our goalie did a nice job. It was nice to get some younger guys in the game."

The Knights ended their year at 5-8.

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Brewer trips Lawrence

Sport: Baseball  Posted: June 10th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Ernie Clark
BDN Staff

BREWER, Maine — The heroes in any championship pursuit are at times quite predictable, at other times quite unanticipated.

For the Brewer baseball team, heroism during its 7-6 victory over upset-minded Lawrence of Fairfield in an Eastern Maine Class A preliminary round game at Heddericg Field on Tuesday came from the latter category.

Senior designated hitter Jon Thoms, a key contributor during the Witches’ run to the 2008 regional title but limited to one regular-season game this spring due to a knee injury, gave Brewer hope with his first hit of the season — a three-run homer that tied the game at 4-4 in the third inning.

And sophomore second baseman Brandon Gendreau, who had driven in all of two runs this spring, singled home pinch-runner Tyler Desjardins with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to advance the sixth-ranked Witches (12-5) to a quarterfinal matchup at No. 3 Cony of Augusta on Thursday.

No. 11 Lawrence, which edged Mt. Blue of Farmington in an eight-inning play-in game Saturday just to earn the final playoff berth in the division, ends its season at 7-11.

“Good teams just find a way to win,” said Brewer coach Dave Morris after his team’s third win of the season over Lawrence. “We just hung in there, and you can say a lot about an 11th seed coming in and playing with a lot of emotion, but we’re a sixth seed that’s worked hard and played hard, and that’s just baseball. We’re just happy to be on the winning side.”

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Morin, Coyotes oust John Bapst

Sport: Softball  Posted: June 10th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Singer’s three hits pace OT
By Ryan McLaughlin
BDN Staff

OLD TOWN, Maine — At times, the Old Town High School softball team has resembled a MASH unit this spring. But, fortunately for coach Lester Cowan, he has plenty of depth to go around.

And when junior shortstop Whitney Leland was a late scratch for Tuesday’s Eastern Maine Class B preliminary clash with John Bapst of Bangor, sophomore McKayla Gastia stepped right in.

Gastia and her teammates played solidly behind junior pitcher Hannah Morin, who tossed a two-hitter, and the fifth-ranked Coyotes punched their ticket to the quarterfinals with a 6-0 win over the 12th-seeded Crusaders at the high school field.

Old Town (12-5) takes on Bucksport on Thursday afternoon at 4:30 while Bapst completes its season 5-12.

The Coyotes split with the Golden Bucks on the regular season with each winning at home.

Old Town jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, taking the Crusaders out of their small-ball game.

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Hes already a star, with plenty of time to improve

Sport: Baseball  Posted: June 9th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By TOM CHARD, Staff Writer Monday, June 8, 2009

WESTBROOK — Scott Heath of Westbrook High is just a sophomore, but he has already put up some impressive numbers in two seasons in the Telegram League.

This season, the left-handed pitcher has a 6-0 record and hasn´t given up an earned run in 35 innings. He has 50 strikeouts, and opponents are batting a paltry .086 against him.

At the plate, Heath is batting .476 with a team-high 20 RBI.

Last year as a freshman, he batted .479 with 17 RBI. He had a 1-0 record with one save.

"At this stage, he´s more advanced than any pitcher I´ve had," said Westbrook Coach Mike Rutherford, in his 23rd year of coaching.

"I had some excellent pitchers at Portland (High), guys like Brian Ross, Jason Jensen, Bobby Agger and James Dawson. I feel Scott is further advanced as a sophomore than those guys were as sophomores.

"Ross and Jensen really improved their last two seasons. We don´t know yet if Scott will do the same."

Heath said Rutherford has helped his mental approach to the game, while pitching coach Greg Coppeta has helped him with his mechanics.

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Nebraska wrestlers coming in friendship

Sport:   Posted: June 9th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Bob McPhee , Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The wrestling should be intense when competitiors step on the mat for the silver anniversary of the Maine/Nebraska Friendship Series later this month. Wrestlers from Mountain Valley, Lisbon, Oak Hill and Dirigo will participate.

Oak Hill High School will be the second of four competitions for the Cornhuskers, who will also compete at York, Cony and Morse.

The series was created in 1985 and is the longest running exchange between two states in the country. Maine and Nebraska have alternated hosting the event.

This is the first time that Oak Hill has hosted the Nebraska wrestlers. That night will feature Lisbon state champions Forrest Cornell (115), Marcus Bubar (145), Mike McNamara (130), Kyle Huston (150) and Joe Doughty (220). Competitors from host Oak Hill include state champion Craig Morrill, and Keith Madore, Dillon and Clyde Tibbetts and Nick Wells.

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Messalonskee knocked out by Mt. Blue

Sport: Softball  Posted: June 9th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel 06/09/2009

OAKLAND -- It's so simple it almost went without saying. Mt. Blue coach Paul Rodrigue told his players that to beat Messalonskee, they would need to pitch well, field well and hit well.

There was a fourth element to the equation. Even after losing twice to the Eagles in the regular season -- the second time by 10 runs -- the 10th-seeded Cougars honestly believed they could win.

Win Mt. Blue did, outplaying seventh-seeded Messalonskee to take an 8-4 victory in the Eastern A softball preliminary round Monday afternoon.

"Nobody expected us to win today," Rodrigue said. "The two times that we lost to them, they didn't believe that they lost. They believed that they gave it away. They believed they could do it."

Mt. Blue (7-10), which won four games last season and did not qualify for the playoffs, moves on to face No. 2 Skowhegan in a game scheduled for Thursday. Messalonskee ends its season at 9-8.

"It was one bad inning. The wheels came off," Messalonskee coach Leo Bouchard said. "This is a team that we beat rather handily twice during the season. Whether that had an effect on us, I don't know. This is not where I expected to be at the end of the day today. There's no question about that."

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Home run hitters give their teams an edge

Sport:   Posted: June 9th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel 06/09/2009

Purists call the triple the most exciting offensive play in baseball, but nothing captures our imagination like the home run.

While a triple is a triple, a home run is a dinger, tall jack, clout, bomb, poke, swat, big fly, wallop and round-tripper in addition to dozen more nicknames. We never tire of them, no matter how many are hit. In fact, the more the better.

High school home runs, both in baseball and softball, are as rare as they are ubiquitous at the professional level. But nothing gets a team into a game like a home run. Just ask Waterville catcher Curt Chaput.

"It really sparks the team," said Chaput, who has five homers this season. "Everyone starts hitting after that."

Waterville finished at 13-3 this season and is seeded third going into the Eastern Maine Class B tournament, which starts with prelim games today. Arguably, it was Chaput's first homer of the season that got the Purple Panthers headed in the right direction.

With his team trailing Lincoln 10-2 in the season opener, Chaput led off the seventh inning with a home run. And everyone did start hitting after that, enough to rally Waterville to an 11-10 victory.

"All because he got it going with that," Waterville coach Don Sawyer said. "It's a big part of our offense. We don't take too many chances on the bases (if he's coming up)."

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Bradbury new Hampden coach

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: June 9th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Longtime JV coach takes over Bronco girls basketball team
By Ryan McLaughlin
BDN Staff

Chad Bradbury has been coaching basketball at either the subvarsity or Amateur Athletic Union levels since 1997, and now he’s moving up to the varsity ranks.

Bradbury, who coaches the Maine Icebreakers’ 14-U AAU squad and served as Hampden Academy’s girls junior varsity basketball coach last winter, is that school’s new varsity girls coach.

Bradbury’s hiring was approved by the SAD 22 school board at a meeting last week. He replaces Ben Greenlaw, who recently stepped down after six seasons on the job.

Bradbury’s coaching resume includes stints as HA’s boys soccer, basketball and baseball coach — all at the JV level — along with subvarsity and freshman girls basketball.

He’s eager to help turn around a Hampden program that hasn’t appeared in the regional tournament since the 2004-05 season.

“I guess our short-term goal, we’d be happy if we could make an appearance in the playoffs, and see what would happen from there,” Bradbury said.

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Wisdom back in playoffs

Sport: Baseball  Posted: June 9th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Pioneers to host Woodland today
By Ernie Clark
BDN Staff

Few people noticed when the Wisdom baseball team started its spring with four consecutive losses, then was 1-5 nearly halfway through its schedule.

After all, the Pioneers went just 3-11 in 2008 — that coming after a 2007 season when the school of approximately 95 students from Saint Agatha and Frenchville didn’t even field a team due to a lack of players.

But people in northernmost Maine are noticing Wisdom baseball now, as the team closed out its regular season with eight consecutive victories to finish sixth in Eastern Maine Class D and earn its first home playoff game in a decade.

The Pioneers host No. 11 Woodland Tuesday at 2 p.m. in one of 30 preliminary-round baseball and softball games to be played around the region.

“As a coach I teach a little about baseball, but it also gives me a chance to teach a little about self-esteem,” said second-year Wisdom coach Charles Collin. “When you go out to play a game you always have a chance no matter who you’re playing.”

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