Purple Panthers pour on late runs to best Windjammers in pivotal finaleCamden Hills softball prevails over Waterville in regular-season finale
Rockport — Much was at stake in the Wednesday, June 4 high school baseball game between Camden Hills and Waterville, with the winner essentially sewing up not only a first-round bye and first place in the region, but a berth in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship game.
Wednesday's rain-soaked game was tight through the first six innings, but the Purple Panthers scored eight runs in the seventh to come away with a 12-4 victory.
The Windjammer softball team also posted an 8-1 victory over the Purple Panthers in wet weather, as well.
It was the final game of the regular season for all four squads. Both Windjammer teams will be playoff-bound next week.
The following is a recap of both June 4 contests:
Waterville 12, Camden Hills 4
At Rockport June 4, the Purple Panthers exploded for an eight-run seventh inning and picked up a crucial victory over the Windjammers. Camden Hills scored two runs in both the first and third innings, while Waterville scored one in the first, one in the second, two in the fourth and eight in the seventh.
The loss knocked Camden Hills out of contention for the KVAC Class B championship, to be played on Saturday, June 7 at 2 p.m at Thomas College. That game will feature Waterville and Lincoln Academy of Newcastle after it appeared in recent weeks that Midcoast rivals Oceanside and Camden Hills would battle in the contest.
On Wednesday, leading Camden Hills at the plate were Aubrey Pennington (2 singles, 2 runs), Connor Graffam (home run, 2 RBIs), Michael Wolff (single, RBI), John Hall (single) and Sam Berry (single).
For Waterville, Dan Pooler (3 hits), Cam Gardiner (hit), A.J. Godin (2 hits) and Alan Wood (2 hits) keyed the offense.
Chandler Crans pitched for much of the contest, but gave way late in the game to both Graffam and Daulton Wickenden. The trio combined to allow 11 hits, six walks and two hit batters, with three strikeouts. Godin went the distance on the mound for Waterville, allowing six hits.
The Windjammers committed three errors and the Purple Panthers four.
The game was tied 4-4 in the top of the seventh when Owen Brown and Wood reached on errors to start the frame, followed by Crans issuing an intentional walk to Godin to load the bases.
Graffam relieved Crans and Brown quickly came in to score on a fielder's choice, followed by Wood crossing the plate on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Rodrigue.
It appeared Rodrigue left third base early on the play, but an appeal to the bag was not overturned, which made the score 6-4 for Waterville.
Gardiner later rapped an RBI-single and Wood a two-run single for the Purple Panthers.
Graffam belted a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning to give the hosts a 2-1 lead.
In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Camden Hills (12-4, 114.0625 points) is fourth, while Waterville (14-2, 121.2891 points) is first in the 19-team region. The top 13 teams qualify for the playoffs.
Camden Hills 8, Waterville 1
At Rockport June 4, the Windjammers saw little resistance from the Purple Panthers and came away with their seventh win.
Hilary Merrifield was one of two players to step in the pitching circle for Camden Hills. Merrifield allowed no hits and struck out two in one inning of work. Overall, Camden Hills pitching allowed four hits, no walks and one hit batter, with six strikeouts. Katie Huard pitched for Waterville and allowed five hits.
Leading the Windjammers at the plate were Hannah Bode (single), Maddie Bowman (single), Natalie Hamalainen (single), Bekah Hilt (double) and Taylor Peasley (single).
For Waterville, Kaitlyn Spaulding (hit), Ciara Miller (hit) and Gabrielle Martin (2 hits) paced the offense.
In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Camden Hills (7-9, 48.4766 points) is 10th, while Old Town (16-0, 148.4375 points) is first in the 19-team region. The top 13 teams qualify for the playoffs.
Associate Sports Director
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Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. He has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School.
Mark is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox, fantasy sports, the AMC drama "Breaking Bad" and iced coffee.
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn and sons Beckett and Austin.
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