Rusty islanders downed by Lakers in regional semifinal
Vinalhaven — Forget a meaningful game.
The No. 2 Vinalhaven/North Haven softball team had not played any game since May 31. More than two weeks between the team's final regular-season game and first playoff encounter.
And when No. 3 Greenville made the trek to the island to compete in a Western Class D semifinal playoff game on Monday, June 16, the higher seed’s rust showed. And the Lakers moved on.
Greenville posted a 12-3 win over Vinalhaven/North Haven on the strength of a five-run third inning and, at one point, tallied nine unanswered runs in the middle innings.
The Lakers (13-5) move on to the regional championship game where they will face top-seeded Richmond (15-0) for the crown.
No. 3 Greenville beat No. 6 Rangeley (3-10) to advance to Monday's semifinal.
Vinalhaven/North Haven, which earned a first-round bye in the playoffs, ended the season 8-7. The islanders had split with Greenville in two regular-season games — winning 8-3 and losing 9-1.
On Monday, the Vikings scored one run in the second and two more in the sixth, while Greenville scored two in the second, five in the third, one in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Leading the islanders at the plate were Hannah Ames (single), Bethany Candage (double, single, RBI, run), Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes (triple, run), Maddie Hallowell (single) and Tracie Webster (double).
Courtney Mann (single), Lindsay Fenn (3 single, 3 runs, 2 RBIs), Danielle Mills (single, run), Molly Foley (single, 3 runs), Grace Bilodeau (single), Shelby Ward (2 runs), Kaylee Warman (single), Amber Benway (single) and Kaina Goodwin (2 singles) paced Greenville.
Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes pitched into the fifth inning of Monday’s game before being relieved by her older sister, Ashley Davis-Oakes.
Combined, the siblings allowed 11 hits and 10 walks, with three strikeouts. Ashley Davis-Oakes gave up only one run in relief.
Foley pitched for Greenville, allowing six hits and two walks, with two strikeouts.
“We hadn’t played a game since the 31st [of May],” said Viking coach Doug Littlefield. “So we had quite a layoff having that first-week bye and waiting.”
Littlefield said “Gilley was lights out earlier in the year” in a game against Greenville, but “could not get it going today and we couldn’t get the bats going today.”
The visitors struck first with a pair in the second inning, while the islanders responded in the bottom of the frame when Candage doubled and singled in by Hallowell.
The Lakers then rattled off nine unanswered runs to take a 10-1 lead, which all but ended Vinalhaven/North Haven’s season.
The islanders added two more runs in the sixth when Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes tripled and came in on an RBI by Candage, while Bailey Wadleigh later reached first base on a dropped third strike and was doubled home by Webster.