FARMINGDALE — One of the marks of a good softball team is that it responds immediately when an opponent puts together a big inning and/or takes the lead.

Hall-Dale has been that kind of team for much of the 2015 season, and it was again Wednesday when the Bulldogs called Carrabec’s three-run top of the third and raised it four more runs in the bottom of the frame to pull away with a 9-4 win.

“This year, when we give up a couple of runs, we’ve been able to come back in with the bats and answer,” Hall-Dale coach Steve Acedo said. “That’s big in high school softball.”

Olivia Maynard sparked the offense by going 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and run scored.

“(Hitting) feels natural. I’ve been struggling a lot this season. It’s been inconsistent, but I feel like today I felt more at ease,” Maynard said.

She also responded in the circle, recovering after a rocky third to hold back the Cobras before giving way to Becca Ackerson in relief.

Hall-Dale (13-2) got RBIs from Maynard and Morgan Rush in the first and was looking to add on when its first two batters reached against Carrabec’s Sam LeBeau in the second inning. But Lexi Cowan made a shoestring catch of Kayla Johnson’s soft liner to second and doubled-up Haley Houdlette at first, then shortstop Mckayla Willette ranged far to her left to scoop Ackerson’s grounder up the middle and fired to first to get her by a step and end the threat.

The glovework seemed to fire up the Cobras (9-7), who came out swinging in the fourth. Bailey Dunphy, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs, cut the lead in half with a triple to right scoring Kilee Nile. Baylee Atwood drove her home with a single, then gave Carrabec the lead when she scored on an error by the second baseman.

But Hall-Dale quickly put the pressure back on LeBeau in its half of the inning. A hit batter and two singles loaded the bases with no one out, then LeBeau hit Rush in the foot to force home the tying run. Jill Whynot’s infield single made it 4-3, and Gabby Browne followed with a two-run single.

The Bulldogs caught a break when some confusion on the base paths on Houdlette’s bunt led to a throwing error that went out of play and gave all of the baserunners two bases. Whynot and Browne scored, making it 8-3. Houdlette later scored on Ackerson’s squeeze bunt.

“Just one inning here or there. And that’s the way our season’s gone with some of the better teams. We seem to let that one inning really get to us,” Carrabec coach Craig Knight said.

Maynard showed her appreciation for her second chance with a strong fourth inning, working around a dropped third strike to retire the side.

“She was shaking that change-up off a bit in the first couple of innings. She didn’t have confidence in it. She started throwing it and got comfortable with it,” Acedo said. “She has a good change-up. It keeps those batters guessing at the plate.”

“I was hitting my spots and we were trying to mix it up. I think I just needed to slow my change-up down a little bit because the girl that jacked the triple (Dunphy), that was off my change-up,” Maynard said.

Dunphy victimized her again in the fifth with a leadoff single and eventually scored on a wild pitch, but the Cobras never put her or Ackerson (two innings pitched, two hits, two strikeouts) in serious jeopardy.

Hall-Dale plays its regular-season finale at Boothbay on Thursday, then faces Madison in the Mountain Valley Conference championship at Madison at 3 p.m. on Friday.

Carrabec will join the Bulldogs in the Western C tournament and will be seeded somewhere in the middle of the pack. They will be on the road for the quarterfinals on June 11. They won’t know where, though, until the final Heal points are released later this week.

“This is the highest that we’ve been (in the Heal points standings) since I’ve been there,” said Knight, who is in his eighth season at Carrabec. “They’re excited (for the playoffs). They’re a little bummed right now but we’ll move on to tomorrow.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

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Twitter: @RAWmaterial33