High school softball

Late rally lifts Mariners over Panthers in another epic playoff clash for rivals

Familiar foes battle to end, hosts win to move on to semifinals at two-time defending state champion Old Town
By Mark Haskell | Jun 07, 2018
Photo by: Mark Haskell Medomak Valley's Sadie Cohen, left, as well as Oceanside's Casey Pine, middle, and Raechel Joyce on June 7 in a high school softball game in Rockland. The host Mariners beat the Panthers of Waldoboro 3-0 in a Class B North quarterfinal playoff game.

Rockland — Whenever Oceanside and Medomak Valley mix it up on the softball field, you can throw records, seeds and any chance of a lopsided game out the window.

And, for the third straight year, the Midcoast rivals again met in the Class B North quarterfinals as the this time No. 3 Mariners welcomed the No. 6 Panthers for another game that saw the outcome in doubt to the final out.

The game, played 24 hours after both area squads won home prelim playoff encounters, was scoreless into the sixth inning before Oceanside broke through for three runs — while only connecting for one hit in the frame — and were able to stave off the Panthers and, ultimately, swung to a 3-0 victory on Thursday, June 7 at Drinkwater Field.

See video, and more photos, below.

Oceanside won all three meetings between the teams this spring, as the Mariners outscored Medomak Valley by a total of 9-2. The win also gave the Mariners the rubber match in quarterfinal showdowns over the past three seasons, with the Panthers winning in 2016 and the Mariners last year and this season.

With Thursday’s win, Oceanside (16-2), which eliminated No. 14 Mount Desert Island 1-0 on Wednesday, June 6 in the prelims, advances to the semifinals, where it will play at No. 2 Old Town (16-1) on Saturday, June 9 at 2 p.m.

The Mariners and Coyotes did not face each other during the regular season.

Medomak Valley, which defeated No. 11 Presque Isle 14-2 in five innings in the prelims on Wednesday, saw its campaign conclude at 11-7.

“We’ve played each other three times the last three years in the playoffs and twice during the year,” said Oceanside coach Rusty Worcester. “No matter what it’s always a playoff atmosphere and just who makes the mistakes, who gets the hit and that’s what it was today.”

Medomak Valley coach Richard Vannah said his team “played well and I’m proud of them,” while he also expressed a measure of frustration at the way the Heal Point and regional standings cards have fallen the past three years.

“It’s sickening playing these guys every year [in the quarterfinals],” Vannah said. “I’ve talked to Rusty and we’d like to play someone else in the quarterfinals for once and maybe meet in the championship or something.”

The Mariners managed only two hits on the afternoon — singles by Raechel Joyce in the first and Grace Woodman in the sixth — while Woodman and Kalli Grover collected RBIs and Joyce, Grover and Chole Jones plated runs.

For the Panthers, Gabby DePatsy (single), Sadie Cohen (2 singles) and Josie Jameson (single) paced the offense.

Jones went the distance in the pitching circle for Oceanside, as she allowed four hits and one walk, with nine strikeouts.

Southpaw Addie Jameson pitched into the sixth inning for Medomak Valley, while DePatsy got a relief appearance late in the game. The duo combined to allow two hits and seven walks, while they fanned five.

The game was a pitchers' duel, as it typically is between the evenly-matched squads between Jones for Oceanside and Addie Jameson (or DePatsy) for Medomak Valley. Both pitchers featured an impressive arsenal, particularly Jameson, who kept many Mariner batters off-balance with a terrific change-up.

Oceanside looked to pounce on Medomak Valley in the first inning after Joyce singled and was moved to second by Hannah Moholland, but Joyce was called out for interference on the bases on a would-be single by Casey Pine to end the inning.

After Joyce’s first-inning single, Jameson did not allow another hit the rest of the game, though she struggled with her control in the sixth inning, which proved to be Medomak Valley’s undoing.

Joyce reached on an error as did Moholland on a walk to start the bottom of the sixth, while Jones eventually drew a walk as well to load the bases for Oceanside.

Grover then drew a walk to force home Joyce to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead.

“Addie was getting her change-up over and when you get a change-up over like that whether you’re Chloe or Addie, it’s hard to sit on just a fastball,” said Worcester. “But she [Grover] battled and was able to get a walk. Anything we could do to scratch a run across.”

Jameson then fell behind Woodman 2-0 before she was lifted in favor of DePatsy, who eventually gave up an RBI-single to Woodman to double Oceanside’s advantage. Grover later scampered home on a wild pitch to wrap the scoring for the Mariners.

Medomak Valley had scoring opportunities throughout the game, leaving seven runners on base, while Oceanside stranded six.

In the fifth, the Panthers decided to play small ball and got their first two runners on with bunt attempts — Emily Wotton on an error and a single by Josie Jameson. But the next two batters popped up their bunts and Jones struck out the final Panther batter to end the frame.

In the sixth, Medomak Valley again put two runners on as DePatsy blooped a single and Cohen followed with a seeing-eye hit through the middle before they moved into scoring position on a wild pitch.

But Jones settled down and fanned the final two batters to end the threat for Oceanside.

“We had plenty of chances,” said Vannah. “We had second and third and first and second a couple of different times, but couldn’t get it done. And they did. We blinked first.”

Now, the Mariners have one day to prepare for the two-time defending state Class B champions. The Mariners are familiar with the Coyotes, having fallen to them 1-0 in eight innings in last year’s regional championship.

“Their pitcher is back and almost their entire lineup is back,” said Worcester of Old Town. “It’s going to be extremely tough. I’ve said even though Brewer’s undefeated, you’ve still got to beat [Old Town] to win it all and Old Town’s the defending champs. And they’re number one until you knock them off. We’re going to go up there and see what happens.”

Medomak Valley at Oceanside softball
Oceanside hosts Medomak Valley on June 7 in high school softball in Rockland. (Video by: Mark Haskell and Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Medomak Valley's Lydia Simmons. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Raechel Joyce. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Raechel Joyce. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Kalli Grover, right, and Raechel Joyce. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Sadie Cohen. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Chloe Jones. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Addie Jameson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Addie Jameson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Chloe Jones. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Sadie Cohen. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Sadie Cohen. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Sadie Cohen. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Addie Jameson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Cassie Smeltzer. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Cassie Smeltzer, right, and Oceanside's Jessica Watkinson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Cassie Smeltzer. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Cassie Smeltzer. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Grace Woodman. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Raechel Joyce. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Abby Nelson, right, and Oceanside's Raecel Joyce. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Abby Nelson, right, and Oceanside's Kalli Grover. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Hallie Kunesh. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Abby Veilleux. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Lydia Simmons. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Sadie Cohen. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Sadie Cohen, left, as well as Oceanside's Casey Pine, middle, and Raechel Joyce. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Casey Pine. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Rusty Worcester, right, and Chloe Jones. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Aubrey Schaeffer, right, and Oceanside's Casey Pine. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Kalli Grover, right, and Medomak Valley's Josie Jameson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Addie Jameson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Hallie Kunesh, right, and Oceanside's Raechel Joyce. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Medomak Valley's Addie Jameson, right, talks with the umpire, Jim Watts. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Oceanside's Kalli Grover. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
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