It was bound to happen sooner or later, but the Cony High School softball team’s 9-1 loss to Edward Little in Auburn on Wednesday came as a surprise.

Including the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A playoffs, the loss was the first in 34 games for the defending Class A state champions.

“I sensed we were a little flat when we got off the bus,” Cony coach Rocky Gaslin said. “We didn’t hit well, we didn’t field well.”

Edward Little (8-5) should make the tournament, but the Rams handled them 11-4 in their first meeting and have rarely lost to the Red Eddies. The Rams, who are batting over .400 as a team, recorded their low hit-total in recent memory with just two. They also committed five errors.

“We’ve just got to get our bats going a little better, too,” Gaslin said. “The last couple of games we’ve been struggling at the plate.”

Gaslin said he’s never happy with a loss but thinks the unbeaten streak was on the team’s mind.

“We’ve just got to relax a little more,” he said.

Cony (13-1) bounced back Thursday with a 4-0 win against Mt. Ararat in which Sonja Morse pitched a no-hitter. The Rams are scheduled to play Lewiston today, weather permitting, and conclude the season Tuesday with a showdown in Brewer against the unbeaten Witches. Last year, they beat the Witches 1-0 in the Eastern Maine Class A final.

The same two pitchers — Morse for Cony and Alexa Grindle for Brewer — are expected to match up Tuesday. Both are currently unbeaten.

“She mixes it up pretty good and works both sides of the plate,” Gaslin said of Grindle.

Win or lose, Cony appears locked into the second spot in the Eastern Maine Class A standings. This year, both the Eastern Maine and Class A state championship games will be held in Augusta.

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Role players have figured heavily into Hall-Dale’s season. The Bulldogs are 8-5 following Wednesday’s win over Carrabec and nearly all their games have been close. Their largest margin of defeat was an 11-6 loss to Madison and their greatest victory a 7-3 win against Wiscasset. They’ve also played in four one-run games, winning two.

Coach Christen Lachapelle has used a number of role players who have contributed to the team’s success.

“Really it’s just a matter of determination,” Lachapelle said. “Some girls that have gone in as pinch hitters and pinch runners have filled in nicely in those roles. It’s not necessarily one person standing out.”

The Bulldogs are fifth in the Western Maine Class C tournament standings but could finish anywhere between third and seventh.

“Right now our league is so wide open,” Lachapelle said of the Mountain Valley Conference. “It’s any team that brings full focus and concentration and cuts down on errors.”

• • •

Timely hitting and steady pitching has Winthrop in the middle of the Western Mane Class C race. The Ramblers rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh Wednesday to beat Mt. Abram 4-3 and run their record to 8-5.

“It wasn’t easy,” Winthrop coach Bob Ouellette said. “I’ve got a couple of wounded players.”

Both junior Cat Ouellette and freshman Kennedy Connor are dealing with injuries. Ouellette, who usually catches, played center field and bunted the ball Wednesday, while Connor played two innings at second base.

“She’s not herself right now,” Ouellette said of his daughter Cat, who is batting .580. Another of his daughters, Lily, is batting around .400 as are Abby Helm and Randi Dennett. The Ramblers are also playing solid defense. Wednesday, they turned two double plays, one completed with a throw from first to third by Danielle Pease, the lone senior the team.

Junior Krissy Doughty has pitched every inning this season and has between 75-80 strikeouts.

“One thing she can do is hit the strike zone,” Ouellette said. “She’s not overpowering, but she does have ball movement.”

The Ramblers will get a good gauge of their progress today when they play an unbeaten Madison.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

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