High school softball

Missed opportunities haunt Mariners in walk-off league title loss to Witches

Brewer's Dore comes through with game-winning single in ninth inning
By Zack Miller | Jun 03, 2018
Photo by: Zack Miller Oceanside's Kalli Grover looks to bunt against Brewer on June 2 in a high school softball game at Thomas College in Waterville. The Witches edged the Mariners 3-2 in nine innings of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship game.

Waterville — When one gets opportunities in life, it is important to never let them pass.

The same can be said in sports, and the Oceanside softball team had plenty of opportunities with runners in scoring position— eight to be exact — to put crooked numbers on the scoreboard against Brewer during the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship game on Saturday afternoon, June 2 at Thomas College.

Of those eight opportunities, Oceanside only managed to capitalize on two — both in the third inning — en route to a tough, hard-fought 3-2, nine-inning walk-off loss to the Witches.

Oceanside (14-3 overall), a young team with only one senior and six freshmen, and Brewer (17-0 overall) also met on April 24 in a regular-season game as the Witches pulled out a 4-2 victory in Rockland.

In Saturday's league championship game, the Witches had nine opportunities with runners in scoring position, as Brewer capitalized on three of those chances.

The key play came as MacKenzie Dore connected for a two-out, walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to plate Jordan Goodrich from third base to decide the competitive affair.

Watch video, and see more photos, below.

The teams could meet for a third time this spring — in the regional final — if they continue to realize success in the Class B North tournament. Brewer is ranked first and Oceanside third for those playoffs.

“It was just a battle,” Oceanside coach Rusty Worcester said of the league championship game. “We knew it was going to be a battle and great game to get warmed up for the [regional] playoffs. We knew we were facing a good team, we played them before and we had our chances [today], and just couldn’t quite get that run across the plate. We played hard, and as good as we could, and just lost by one.”

Oceanside, which registered seven hits and committed two errors, scored its runs in the second inning.

Brewer, which tallied eight hits and also committed two errors, scored two runs in the third inning, and the game-winning tally in the bottom of the ninth.

Leading the Mariners at the plate were Abby Veilleux (single, run), Raechel Joyce (double, RBI), Chloe Jones (RBI), Hannah Moholland (2 singles, stolen base), Grace Woodman (triple), Jessica Watkinson (single) and Adrianna Whitamore (single, run).

For Brewer, Goodrich (double, triple, 2 runs), Libby Hewes (single), Dore (double, single, RBI), Madisyn Sellars (2 singles) and Emily Lord (single, run) had strong at-bats.

Jones (3 runs on 8 hits, 9 strikeouts in 9 innings) went the distance in the pitching circle for Oceanside, while Hewes (2 runs on 7 hits, 9 strikeouts in 9 innings) earned the win for the Witches.

The game started well for Oceanside. In the first inning, Joyce smacked a one-out double to left field, but Joyce never was able to advance home as the next two batters made outs and the Mariners were 0-1 with runners in scoring position.

Brewer also wasted a scoring chance in the bottom of the first inning, as Goodrich was stranded on third as the game remained scoreless.

The Mariners squandered their second scoring chance in the second frame. Moholland singled to left-center field, stole second base and wound up at third after a wild pitch. After an out was recorded, Moholland tried to advance home on a passed ball, but was tagged out at the plate for the second out of the inning.

The Mariners finally broke through the invisible scoring wall in the third inning. Whitamore started the frame with a single and reached second on an outfield throwing error. Veilleux singled to plate Whitamore to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead.

Joyce moved Veilleux to third with a ground out and a Jones ground out to second allowed Veilleux to scamper home with the Mariners' second run.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Lord started the bottom of the inning with a single, and moved to second on a wild pitch. Goodrich ripped a double to plate Lord, which made the score 2-1. Hewes then reached on an error, which allowed Goodrich to score to tie the game 2-2.

From there the opponents could not capitalize on additional opportunities to take the lead.

Oceanside had a chance in the sixth frame after Moholland hit a two-out single and moved to second on an error on a pick-off attempt. A ground out ended the scoring threat, however.

An inning later, Oceanside seemingly had its best scoring chance of the game. Woodman led the seventh with a triple, Watkinson reached on a bunt, when Hewes could not make a decision on whether to throw to first or third base.

"We tried to do a little bunt, and the bunt was laid down nice, but [Hewes] is a tremendous athlete, and I knew the minute she looked quick back at third and we had to hold [Woodman]," Worcester said.

A strikeout and popout accounted for two quick outs. With Joyce at bat, Woodman tried to come home on a pitch that glanced off catcher Goodrich's mitt, but was tagged out at home by Goodrich to end the inning.

The Mariners final chance to break the tie came in the eighth inning, when Joyce walked to lead the frame and ended up at second, but a strikeout and two groundouts ended the inning.

The bottom of the ninth started well for the Mariners, as Jones got a pop-out and strikeout. However, Goodrich reached second on an infield throwing error. Hewes followed with a singe to move Goodrich to third, followed by Dore's game-winning single to plate Goodrich and give the Witches the win.

Oceanside will begin the single-elimination Class B North playoffs on Monday, June 4 at 4 p.m. when the No 3. Mariners host No. 14 Mount Desert Island (9-7) in a prelim playoff encounter at Gene Drinkwater Field in Rockland.

“I think the atmosphere and the pitchers [is what we can take away from this game heading into the playoffs],” Worcester said. “The playoff-type atmosphere, the pressure parts with the bases loaded and getting out of the inning [is important]. It’s a young team and they are learning every day.”

Oceanside versus Brewer softball
Oceanside and Brewer play on June 2 for the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B title at Thomas College in Waterville. (Video by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Abby Veilleux. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Hannah Robinson. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Chloe Jones. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Hannah Moholland. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Kalli Grover. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Grace Woodman. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside team members stand during the national anthem. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Abby Veilleux. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Abby Veilleux. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Raechel Joyce. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Casey Pine. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Casey Pine. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Grace Woodman. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Grace Woodman. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Grace Woodman. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Casey Pine, left, and Brewer's Jordan Goodrich. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Casey Pine, left, and Brewer's Jordan Goodrich. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Jessica Watkinson. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Kalli Grover, left, and Chloe Jones. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Hannah Moholland. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Grace Woodman. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Grace Woodman. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Grace Woodman. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Kalli Grover. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Chloe Jones. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Chloe Jones. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Chloe Jones. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Chloe Jones. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Adrianna Whitamore. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Adrianna Whitamore. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Adrianna Whitamore. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Abby Veilleux. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Abby Veilleux. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
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