Hawks advance to D North championship game, Shires fall in semis
HOULTON, Maine — It has been a busy week for high school baseball and softball teams as several local squads competed in quarterfinals and semifinals contests.
But when the dust settled, only one local squad was able to punch its ticket for the right to compete in a regional championship.
The Hodgdon softball team advanced to the Class D North championship game following Saturday’s exciting 3-2 victory over No. 2 Woodland. It marks the first time since 2004 that Hodgdon has made it to the regional championship.
The No. 3 Hawks (15-2 overall) now take on No. 8 Machias (12-5) in the title game, slated for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Brewer High School.
Machias advanced to the title game with a 7-1 victory over No. 5 Penobscot Valley on Saturday.
In Saturday’s semifinal for Hodgdon, Marissa Dow allowed two runs on five hits inside the pitching circle for the Hawks. Aleyah Matheson led the team offensively with a triple and two singles with a run. Sadie Thompson added a triple and single with two runs scored. Sydney Harvey had three singles.
“We pitched well and played a great game defensively,” Hodgdon coach Mark Faulkingham said. “Gracie Little had an outstanding two-out bases-loaded hit for us.”
Knotted at 2-2 going into the seventh inning, Hodgdon scored what turned out to be the game-winning run in the top of the inning. Thompson led off the seventh with a triple and scored on a fielder’s choice by Matheson.
Woodland threatened in the bottom of the seventh, putting runners on second and third. Hodgdon third baseman Kaelyn Lawlor caught a line drive to end the game.
Just one day earlier, Woodland and No. 7 Katahdin battled through 10 innings before the Dragons pulled off a 7-6 victory. The Cougars led 6-2 going into the bottom of the seventh inning before Woodland rallied to even the game at 6-6.
Neither squad was able to plate a runner until the 10th inning. By rule that inning starts with a runner at second base to facilitate a team scoring a run. The Cougars managed to advance the runner to third in the top of the 10th, but were unable to score.
In the bottom of the 10th, Woodland managed to plate its runner, ending the game. Katahdin ended its season with a 11-5 overall record.
The playoff road came to an end for the Houlton baseball squad Saturday as the No. 5 Shires were eliminated by No. 1 Bucksport, 7-1. Just one day earlier, Houlton knocked off No. 4 Orono 10-8 in the quarterfinals.
In Saturday’s semifinal contest at Bucksport, the Shires struck first, scoring their only run in the top of the first inning. Silas Graham walked and scored on a double by Nolan Hodgkins, who also had a single in the game. Colin Moody added a double for the Shires, who mustered just three hits on the day.
Graham took to the mound to start the game, scattering five runs on five hits and seven walks, with seven strikeouts through three and two-thirds innings. Moody pitched two and a third innings of relief, yielding two runs on five hits and one walk, with two strikeouts.
Ty Giberson went the distance for Bucksport, allowing one run on three hits and three walks, with a whopping 15 strikeouts.
“To make it to the semifinals after not having a team for two years speaks volumes to their work ethic and character,” Houlton coach Jim Castner said.
One day earlier, the Shires traveled to Orono to take on the Red Riots. A four-run first inning set the tone for Houlton, but Orono kept the game close throughout. The Shires led 8-3 after four innings, and 10-5 after five innings. The Red Riots plated three runs in the bottom of the seventh, but the rally was cut short, giving Houlton the 10-8 victory.
Garrett Harvey allowed five runs on six hits and one walk, with four strikeouts in five and a third mound innings. Moody (1 hit, 2 strikeouts) and Graham (3 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts) combined to preserve the victory.
Thadon Gentle and Moody led the Shires with three hits apiece, while Brock Thompson added two hits.