Sports

Warrior softball bashes way to playoff victory over Jonesport-Beals

DYER BROOK, Maine — A walk-off double by Cami Shields lifted the Southern Aroostook softball team to a 24-14 Class D North preliminary round victory over Jonesport-Beals Tuesday afternoon.

Shields blasted a bases-loaded double in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring three runs and ending the game via the 10-run mercy rule.

With the win, No. 6 Southern Aroostook (10-5 overall) advances to the quarterfinals, where the Warriors will travel to No. 3 Hodgdon, Thursday at 1 p.m. The Hawks (13-2 overall) advanced with a 15-1 victory over No. 14 Central Aroostook Tuesday afternoon, in a five-inning game also shortened via the mercy rule.

Against Jonesport-Beals, a depleted Warriors squad battled back-and-forth with the Royals. SA jumped to a 6-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning, only to see Jonesport-Beals score four runs in the top of the third,making it a one run game (6-5). 

The Warriors padded their lead to 13-5 in the bottom of the third, taking advantage of numerous walks and passed balls. 

Once again, though, the Royals came roaring back in the top of the fourth inning, cutting the lead to 13-12.

SA pushed its lead to 21-14 in the bottom of the fifth inning thanks to big hits from Shields, who bashed her first of two big doubles on the day with a blast to deep centerfield. Madison Shields followed suit with a two-run home run over the left field fence.

The Warrior defense held Jonesport-Beals scoreless in the top of the sixth inning, and its offense ended the game in the home half of the inning. Bailey Vose led off the inning with a walk and moved to second when Jennah Brooks was hit by a pitch. 

Olivia Engebretson drew another walk to load the bases, setting the stage for Cami Shields’ three-run walk-off double.

“The girls did a really good job at the plate today,” SA coach Paul Sherman said. “We were able to wait for the good pitches. Some of our trouble this year has been getting on base, but once we do, our baserunning has been excellent.”

That excellent baserunning was on full display against Jonesport-Beals as the Warriors stole multiple bases and capitalized on throwing errors or passed balls to advance numerous times on the day.

Jayniece Wenzloff scattered 14 runs on 13 hits and eight walks, with six strikeouts for the Warriors. Emma Peabody yielded 24 runs on 12 hits, 14 walks and three hit batters, with three strikeouts for the Royals.

SA was without the services of its starting pitcher, Maddie Russell, who will likely miss the entire postseason with a groin muscle injury.

“It’s unfortunate that Maddie won’t be able to play for us,” coach Sherman said. “She injured herself in a game up at Ashland and it doesn’t look like she will be cleared for the playoffs. Jayniece did a nice job (pitching) in her place.”

DYER BROOK, Maine — June 7, 2022 — Southern Aroostook coach Paul Sherman (left) speaks to his pitcher Jayniece Wenzloff during a break in the action of Tuesday’s Class D North prelim against Jonesport Beals.  (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

DYER BROOK, Maine — June 7, 2022 — Emily Lunn (left) Jonesport-Beals slides safely into second base as Bailey Vose awaits the ball during Tuesday’s Class D North prelim. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

DYER BROOK, Maine — June 7, 2022 — Sliding safely home is Southern Aroostook’s Jennah Brooks as Jonesport Beals catcher Leah Beal leaps to catch the ball during Tuesday’s Class D North prelim. SA won 24-14. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

DYER BROOK, Maine — June 7, 2022 — All smiles after bashing a home run over the left field fence is Southern Aroostook’s Madison Shields (right) as she is swarmed by her teammates during Tuesday’s Class D North prelim against Jonesport Beals. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

DYER BROOK, Maine — June 7, 2022 — Southern Aroostook pitcher Jayniece Wenzloff delivers a pitch to the plate during Tuesday’s Class D north preliminary playoff against Jonesport-Beals. SACS was victorious 24-14 in a six-inning game. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

DYER BROOK, Maine — June 7, 2022 — Sliding safely into second base is Southern Aroostook’s Addyson Schmidt (center) ahead of the tag by Jonesport-Beals shortstop Emily Lunn. Looking on is Royal second baseman Zoey Alley. SA won 24-14 in a Class D North prelim Tuesday afternoon.   (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

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