Rockland edges Knox Suburban for 11-12 Little League softball crownDistrict 2 champ Rockland advances to state tournament July 6 in Bar Harbor
Thomaston — It likely was the longest game any of the young participants in the District 2 Little League 11- and 12-year-old softball championship game had ever played, but it proved worth the wait.
A game that began July 2 and concluded July 3 saw a pair of evenly-matched opponents leave it all on the field with Rockland and Knox Suburban vying for the coveted district championship.
In the end, Rockland (3-0 in the tourney) pulled ahead late and tacked on a much-needed insurance run Tuesday night to claim the District 2 title with an 11-9 victory on the Thomaston Little League field. Knox Suburban finished 1-2.
The game began Monday at the Marge Jones Recreational Facility in Rockport, but was halted after two innings due to thunder and lightning. The two squads were tied 6-6 and resumed play Tuesday in Thomaston.
With the victory, Rockland will represent District 2 in the state tournament, which begins on Friday, July 6 in Bar Harbor. Rockland will face District 4 (Biddeford) at 3 p.m. on that day in the double-elimination tournament.
Leading Rockland at the plate in Tuesday's championship were Hannah Ames (2 runs), Gabby Simmons (hit, run), Alexis Mazurek (hit, 2 runs), Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes (3 hits, run), Emily Hutchinson (hit, run), Casey Pine (hit, run), Olivia Staples (hit, run), Erin Dugan (run) and Payten Simmons (run).
For Knox Suburban, Laticia Billings (3 hits, run), Payton Wiley (hit, run), Emilee Clough (run), Gillian Lafleche (run), Hannah Moholland (3 hits, run) and Lauryn Arsenault (hit, run) keyed the offense.
Davis-Oakes pitched for Rockland, allowing eight hits and 15 walks, with six strikeouts. Kristina Ferguson pitched for Knox Suburban, allowing eight hits and five walks, with four strikeouts.
With the game tied 6-6 starting in the third inning Tuesday when the game resumed, Rockland grabbed a quick 7-6 lead when Simmons drew a walk and later came in on a fielder's choice. Knox Suburban quickly knotted the score in the top of the fourth when Moholland crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
Not to be outdone, Rockland battled back and took a 10-7 lead in the bottom of the frame thanks to a pair of RBI-singles by Hutchinson and Pine, while Hamlin later plated Pine with a fielder's choice.
Knox Suburban would not go away, however, as Billings stole third base and scored on an error, while Moholland drew a bases-loaded walk later in the inning, to plate Clough to cut its deficit to 10-9.
Rockland added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth stanza when Mazurek singled, stole second and scampered home on an RBI-single by Davis-Oakes.
Arsenault and Clough collaborated on a pair of nice plays in the bottom of the fifth inning in the field for Knox Suburban. Arsenault, the catcher, threw out two Rockland base runners at third base, which Clough tagged out, prior to Rockland's insurance run.
Team members for Rockland include Hannah Ames, Jordan Brackett, Taylor Hamlin, Emily Hutchinson, Alexis Mazurek, Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes, Casey Pine, Kimberly Roman, Grace Young, Gabrielle Simmons, Payten Simmons, Molly Spencer and Olivia Staples. Team alternates include Paige Dennison, Deja Doughty, Erin Dugan and Zoe Goff. The team is managed by Chris Roman and coached by Steve Pine. The scorekeeper is Cindi Hamlin.
Team members for Knox Suburban include Gillian Lafleche, Payton Wiley, Katelyn York, Hallie Kunesh, Hannah Moholland, Lauryn Arsenault, Kristina Ferguson, Madisen Maxwell, Chloe Jones, Emilee Clough and Laticia Billings. The team is coached by Scott Wiley and Pete Billings.
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