SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine— The Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) softball team was crowned Yankee Small College Conference (YSCC) Fall Champions on Saturday, Oct. 7 with wins over the College of St. Joseph (CSJ) and NHTI, Concord's Community College.
Semi-Final Game: #3 SMCC 14, #2 CSJ 13 | Box Score
Sophomore Kristen Mackenzie (Seabrook, N.H.) started in the circle for the Lady SeaWolves in a win-or-go-home semi-final scenario; opposite was CSJ's McKenzie Ebert. Both starters were tagged for runs early on as this one quickly turned into a shootout.
SMCC would score three or more runs in the first four innings; the Fighting Saints posted a seven-run second inning that kept them in striking distance.
The SeaWolves trusted first-year Meranda Martin (Richmond, Maine) in her longest relief appearance of the season, getting into trouble only in the sixth for four runs. Clinging to a one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh, Martin retired three in a row to advance her team to the championship game.
In a game that featured a plethora of offense, both teams combined for 27 runs over 31 hits. SMCC's Kalhi Philibotte (Hooksett, N.H.) collected four hits and four RBI. Martin and first-year Madison Eastman (South Berwick, Maine) teamed up for five hits as first-year Sara Ring (Wells, Maine) turned in her biggest game of the season with three RBI from the clean-up spot.
Mackenzie was credited the win; CSJ reliever Jenna Crowley the loss.
Championship Game: #3 SMCC 4, #1 NHTI 3 | Box Score
Head Coach Ray Magnant went back to Mackenzie in the championship game to face a tough NHTI lineup that came in leading the conference in runs scored. Starting on the rubber for the Lynx was Taylor Gagnon.
SMCC turned over the big board on an error by the Lynx in the third that scored two. NHTI would get in front 3-2 in the bottom of the inning on consecutive RBI singles and a first-and-third base running play.
With runners on second and third in the fourth inning, Eastman drove in first-year Breanna Lavacchia (Eliot, Maine) on a sacrifice fly that evened the score at 3-3. Two innings later the SeaWolves would have runners in the scoring position, this time with Martin at the dish. The lefty delivered the clutch sacrifice fly to right field to score the go-ahead run.
With two on and two out, Mackenzie managed to get Gagnon to ground out to win the game. The sophomore ace was magnificent in her second complete game of the fall, allowing three earned while striking out five.
Following the game was the awards presentation. SMCC's Sara Ring was named Most Outstanding Offensive Player, and teammate Meranda Martin the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Gina Costello of NHTI was tabbed Most Outstanding Defensive Player.
The SeaWolves conclude their fall season at a 4-2 clip.