Vikings sail past Highview Christian on softball diamond

7 years ago

DANFORTH, Maine — Showing patience at the plate, the East Grand softball squad walked away with a Class D North preliminary round victory over Highview Christian Academy Tuesday. 

No. 7 East Grand (9-5 overall) broke open a close game with an eight-run rally in the bottom of the fifth inning which propelled the Vikings to a 16-4 win over No. 10 Highview Christian. The Knights of Charleston end their season with a 6-10 record.

East Grand moved on to face No. 2 Penobscot Valley (16-0) in the quarterfinals Wednesday at 4 p.m.

East Grand took 19 free bases via walks in Tuesday’s game, and made the most of its nine hits during the prelim game. Kianna Caissie blasted a three-run triple in the fifth inning and scored three times, while Mallory Gilman added a three-run double, and singled and scored two runs for the Vikings.

Hayliegh Shay and Emily Russell both had two singles for East Grand, while Natalie Golding and Jordyn Cowger also singled.

The Knights showed a penchant for blasting big hits as well as the team collected four triples in the contest. Megan McDonald cranked a pair of triples and scored two runs to lead the Knights. Kelsi Upham and Katherine Bragdon also tripled.

Shay pitched the win for East Grand, scattering four runs on eight hits and four walks, with six strikeouts, including the final two batters she faced in the sixth inning. Her counterpart, Cassidy Lessner yielded nine hits, 19 walks and one hit batter, with six strikeouts.

“When I had two strikes on them, I tried to pick up the speed a little bit and it seemed to work,” Shay said. “I wasn’t too worried about giving up the big hits. I felt our fielders did a good job of figuring it out and made the adjustments.”

Shay added that getting the playoff victory was extra sweet, since she is only a junior and will be back next season. In fact, the majority of the Vikings team should return as there is just one senior on the roster — Samantha Dube. East Grand had to pull two eighth graders up just to have enough players to field a team this season and played much of the year with the minimum nine players on the roster.

“I really didn’t know what to expect because we have such a young team,” veteran coach Shawn Beaudoin said. “This game could have gone either way. We only lose one player and I am really looking forward to them being back and better next year.”