DIXFIELD — Dirigo and Mt. Abram kept chipping away at each other until winning pitcher Grace Robbins induced a grounder and pop-up and struck out a batter.
The Cougars (3-6) finished off the stubborn Roadrunners (0-7) for a 9-6 Mountain Valley Conference victory softball Saturday.
The winless Roadrunners’ last stand came in the top of the sixth inning. Edilia Stinchfield, Emily Marden and Alyssa Sniadecki each got hits and all came home on a couple of ground-outs and heads-up base running to make cut Dirigo’s lead to 9-6 in the sixth.
But Robbins stepped up and put the lid on Mt. Abram in the top of seventh inning.
“We have been struggling to finish that last two innings,” first-year Dirigo coach Tanya Perreault said. “Today, we finished strong. We got into some situations at the end. They fought back and they were a really good team.
“I have been really working on the leadership on our team, and the upperclassmen really pulled through today. Our pitcher (Robbins) was strong. She threw some great strikes.”
The highlight for the Cougars came in the second inning, a four-run outburst that put the Roadrunners behind the eight ball the rest of the game.
First baseman Allie Dyke got on with a hit and came home on a couple of passed balls. Kallie Errington and Alyvia Perreault reached on fielder’s choices and Robbins reached on error. All three came across the plate on a bases-clearing double by catcher Alexa Perreault that gave the Cougars a 5-1 lead.
“It felt awesome; it was very exciting,” Alexa Perreault said. “I think we kept strong even though they came back in the sixth inning. We still kept stronger in the bottom of sixth inning to win.
“(The Roadrunners) are pretty good. They are better than I expected. They came out strong and played throughout the game.”
The Roadrunners scored first, in the first inning, when Abi Wilcox got on with hit and came home on Adrianna Stinchfield’s RBI triple. The Cougars responded in the same inning when Alyvia Perreault was hit by a pitch and came home with help of a stolen base and two passed balls.
“We were a little slow on the punch there, but our bats are coming along,” Mt. Abram coach Bridget Blood said. “I mean we have young kids out here and they are getting it.
“Dirigo is a good team. They are well-coached and they are getting it together and made some plays I was hoping they wouldn’t, but they did. They are a great competitor.”