BRUNSWICK — The Brunswick softball team knew it wasn’t going to face an easy task Thursday afternoon when it welcomed Lewiston to town for a Class A North quarterfinal round game. After all, the teams had split the season series and had just half a game difference between them in the standings.
“We knew it was going to be a battle, we wanted to leave it all on the field,” said Brunswick junior first baseman Sophia Morin.
The Dragons did just that.
Morin belted a three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning, and No. 4 Brunswick (12-6) held on late to grab a 4-2 victory and a spot in the regional semifinals Saturday. The No. 5 Blue Devils finished 11-6.
“I keep going back to the fact that we hadn’t been to the playoffs since 2005,” said Brunswick head coach Hugh Dwyer. “We played a heck of a game and worked hard, but the story for me is much more than that.”
The Dragons took the lead in the first and didn’t give it back. After Kelsey Cassidy and Kelsey Sullivan reached to start the game, Morin blasted a three-run shot that cleared the left-field fence by just a few feet.
“It (the home run) definitely gave us some energy to start and kept us going through the game when we needed it,” said Morin. “It’s always an awesome feeling to help your team, but we knew we had a lot of softball left in front of us afterward.”
The three quick runs proved to be just enough for Brunswick starter Ellie Sullivan.
“Ellie keeps on getting better everyday; the progress she has made from March until now has been outstanding,” said Dwyer. “When she got in those pressure moments, I told her to own the moment and she did, she responded really well today (Thursday).
Sullivan went the distance, striking out seven while allowing seven hits on two runs and two walks.
Lewiston starting pitcher Isabelle Cormier took the loss.
“We gave it our all, I have nothing but positive things to say about this team,” said Lewiston head coach Ryan Cormier. “You can look back on a few things here and there that could’ve changed the game, but we played great today.”
Cormier went five innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits while striking out three.
“We went through a lot as a team this season,” added Ryan Cormier. “There isn’t another group of girls that I would’ve wanted to experience a season like this with.”
The Dragons added a big insurance run in the fifth inning, when Morgan Foster slapped a single to left field with the bases loaded to put Brunswick up 4-2.
“We’ve come up big all season, today was no different,” said Morin. “We always have our teammates back and have confidence in them.”
The Blue Devils responded in the second. After Abby Chartier and Cormier drew walks, Makenzie Alexander hit an RBI double to right field to make it 3-1.
Lewiston kept the pressure on in the fourth, when catcher Isabella Miller golfed a deep home run over the center field fence to make it 3-2.
“We didn’t give up, they (Brunswick) had the momentum but we took it back,” said Ryan Cormier.
The highlight of the game came in the top of the sixth. After a leadoff walk from Miller, Isabelle Cormier stepped to the plate. After taking the first pitch, she fouled the next pitch off to the right side of Brunswick catcher Kelsey Sullivan, who made a leaping, barehanded catch with her right hand.
“It’s moments like this that can turn around a game,” said Dwyer. “We have a lot of momentum right now. Hopefully, we can use it this weekend. We know we’ll be going up against a great team, but we’ll be ready for the challenge.”