OAKLAND — Overcast skies and a chilly wind made Tuesday’s softball game between Cony and Messalonskee feel like an early season game, but this was a pair of teams fighting for position in the upcoming playoffs. While neither team was at its sharpest, Cony was able to turn Messalonskee mistakes into runs, and the Rams held off a late Eagles rally for an 8-6 win.

Cony enters the Class A North playoffs with an 8-8 record, while Messalonskee heads to the postseason at 9-7. The win gave the Rams a season split with Messalonskee, which won at Cony last week.

“We really needed to beat a team we’ve had a close game with. While this counts for Heal points, we needed the momentum from this win more than anything,” said Cony second baseman Delaney Keithley, who had three hits and scored a pair of runs.

Cony broke open a close game with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning and three more in the seventh. The Eagles committed three of their five errors over the last two innings. Six of Cony’s eight runs were unearned.

“You can’t expect to win many games when you have that many errors and passed balls. We had a lot of unearned runs against us,” Messalonskee coach Samantha Moore said.

Cony led 8-2 going to the bottom of the seventh, but a pair of errors to end an otherwise strong defensive game by the Rams helped Messalonskee climb back into the game with a four-run inning.

“We did well focusing in the game until that last inning. We made all the plays. Jaime (Coull), our center fielder, was phenomenal today. Defense wins games,” Cony coach Rocky Gaslin said.

Coull covered a lot of ground in center field Tuesday, ranging well into the gaps to chase down would-be hits. In the fourth inning, Coull almost left the ballpark making a catch on Makayla Wilson’s deep drive to dead center. As she made the catch, Coull leaned into the stretchy fence, nearly tumbling out of play.

“The strong defense is what won us the game,” Coull said.

Added Keithley: “We do the fundamentals amazing in practice. When it comes to a game, we’re a young team and we kind of let our heads get in the way. We played great today.”

Alexis Couverette and Gaby McGuire each scored a pair of runs for the Rams. Wilson scored twice for Messalonskee, while Danielle Hall hit an RBI double for the Eagles. Sierra McClellen had three hits and scored a run for Messalonskee.

Now, both teams wait for the final standings to come out later this week.

“I like our chances. We’re all kind of bunched up. Whoever plays well that day is going to win. One through 10, anybody can win,” Gaslin said.

“Since early on in the season, we’ve had to focus on moving forward,” Moore said. “That’s what we’ll do now. It’s the start of the second season.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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Twitter: @tLazarczykMTM