High school softball

Mighty Panthers power past Wildcats in prelim playoff encounter

Medomak Valley receives superb pitching, lots of hitting, aggressive base running in win over Presque Isle
By Ken Waltz | Jun 06, 2018
Photo by: Ken Waltz Medomak Valley players, including, from left, Kayla Donlin, Sadie Cohen and Cheyenne Nash, and another Panther behind the ball, watch a pitch delivered to the plate on June 6 against Presque Isle in a high school softball game in Waldoboro. The host Panthers beat the Wildcats 14-2 in five innings in a Class B North prelim playoff game.

Waldoboro — When Medomak Valley wears its hitting and running shoes — make that cleats —  the Panthers are plenty dangerous and difficult to beat. And, on Wednesday afternoon, the hosts surely were in a hitting and running mood.

The No. 6 Panthers (11-6) used tremendous hitting, aggressive base running and a few timely fielding miscues by  No. 11 Presque Isle (7-10) en route to an impressive 14-2, 5-inning Class B North high school softball prelim playoff victory on John Foster Field.

The Wildcats made the long bus trip from Aroostook County — which took more than four hours and is 235 miles one way — to play the game, which was pushed back a day due to inclement weather earlier in the week.

The contest also was moved from the high school field to John Foster Field due to unplayable conditions at Medomak Valley's home facility.

Watch video, and see more photos, below.

With the prelim playoff victory, the Panthers set up another regional quarterfinal playoff meeting with Midcoast neighbor and rival Oceanside of Rockland — essentially 24 hours after they finished Wednesday's contest.

The No. 3 Mariners (15-2) beat No. 14 Mount Desert Island (9-8) 1-0 in another prelim playoff game the same day to set up the showdown with the Panthers.

Thus, Medomak Valley will play at Oceanside on Thursday, June 7 at 4 p.m. on Drinkwater Field in Rockland in what likely will be another classic, down-to-the-wire affair for the right to move on to the semifinals.

The two standout high school softball programs, always in contention for league, regional and state supremacy, have faced off in the postseason a number of times in recent years, often in the regional quarterfinals.

This year, the Mariners, thus far, have gotten the best of the Panthers in two highly-competitive, regular-season contests — 3-0 in Waldoboro and 3-2 in Rockland.

Under gloomy, cloudy, sometimes rainy conditions on Wednesday near downtown Waldoboro, Medomak Valley made quick work of the Wildcats just a few hours before the high school graduation that night.

The Panthers have four seniors — Gabby DePatsy, Hallie Kunesh, Abby Nelson and Josie Jameson.

Those seniors, along with nearly every member of the Panther squad, played a role in Wednesday's prelim playoff victory, in a game which ended when Kunesh scampered home and slid across the plate with the 14th run in the bottom of the fifth inning, a scenario that invoked the mercy rule.

The Panthers and Wildcats did not face each other in the regular season.

On Wednesday, the Panthers, who scored one run in the first inning, three in the second, five in the third, three more in the fourth and two in the fifth, pounded 17 hits. Some were loud and some were soft, but all accomplished the desired task, which was to produce base runners and eventually runs.

Keying the potent Panther offense were Lydia Simmons (single, double, triple, 2 runs, 4 RBIs), Kunesh (2 hits, run, RBI), DePatsy (2 singles, triple, 2 runs), Addie Jameson (2 singles, run, 2 RBIs), Emily Wotton (double, 2 runs), Josie Jameson (3 singles, 2 runs, 3 RBIs), Cheyenne Nash (run) and Nelson (2 singles, double, 3 runs, RBI).

DePatsy again had a strong outing in the pitching circle as she allowed five hits, no walks and struck out 10.

Medomak Valley made two fielding errors.

For Presque Isle, Sydney Thompson pitched, as she walked two and struck out four. At the plate, Thompson (single, run), Anna Trombley (run), Savannah Rodriguez (2 singles, double, 2 RBIs) and Kayla Saucier (single) led the way.

The visitors scored one run in the first and third innings.

"The girls are playing great at the right time of the year," said veteran Medomak Valley coach Richard Vannah. "Gabby is pitching great and everyone is getting ready for our next challenge."

Presque Isle at Medomak Valley softball
Medomak Valley hosts Presque Isle on June 6 in high school softball in Waldoboro. (Video by: Ken Waltz and Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Medomak Valley's Maddy White, right, and Presque Isle's Savannah Rodriguez. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Maddy White, right, and Presque Isle's Savannah Rodriguez. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Maddy White, right, and Presque Isle's Savannah Rodriguez. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Gabby DePatsy. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Gabby DePatsy. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Gabby DePatsy. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Emily Wotton. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Emily Wotton, right, and Presque Isle's Anna Trombley. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Emily Wotton. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Josie Jameson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Maddy White, front, and her teammates in the dugout. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Abby Nelson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Lydia Simmons. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Hallie Kunesh. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley coaches Richard Vannah, left, and Kyle Santheson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Abby Nelson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Maddy White. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Addie Jameson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Addie Jameson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Sadie Cohen, front, and Abby Nelson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Cassie Smeltzer, left, and Lydia Simmons. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Lydia Simmons. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Gabby DePatsy. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Gabby DePatsy, front. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
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