FARMINGDALE — The Oak Hill softball had lost three straight one-run decisions at Hall-Dale heading into Friday’s season opener against the Bulldogs.

The Raiders snapped that losing streak but it took a couple of unconventional double plays and a strong pitching performance from senior Makayla Nadeau to do it.

Nadeau and Hall-Dale’s Becca Ackerson each spun one-hitters but Oak Hill’s hit, a single to left from Grace Sabine scored the game’s lone run in the top of the sixth inning for the 1-0 victory.

“If we were going to make something happen, it was going to be this year,” Oak Hill coach Allyson Collins said. “We’ve lost to Hall-Dale by one run the last three years. We knew it was going to be tough. They knew they had to make plays and they did it.”

Most of the action was packed into the final two innings. Oak Hill’s Mercedes Pease opened the sixth with a walk, moved to second on a passed ball and third on Hannah Nadeau’s sacrifice bunt. Collins called for a suicide squeeze and Emma Hlister got the bunt down, but Pease changed her mind two thirds of the way toward home and scooted safely back to third.

“It was just instinct to go back,” Pease said. “I thought I was going to get out but I dove back to third. I knew I needed to be safe.”


Sabine followed with a single to left that tipped off the glove of shortstop Grace Begin.

The Bulldogs had chances to score in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but sound defense and a couple of poor base-running decisions doomed their chances.

“We were in position to bring the runs in, just some bad base-running,” Hall-Dale coach Steve Acedo said. “They took our bad base-running mistakes and took advantage of it.”

In the fourth, Alyssa Bonenfant drew a one-out walk and tried to go from first to third on Emma Begin’s sacrifice bunt. Makayla Nadeau threw Begin out at first and the return throw from Abby Nadeau to Pease at third was on the money for the double play.

In the fifth, Grace Begin bunted and reached on an error, then promptly was picked off first on a throw from Hlister, the catcher. Hlister single-handedly killed Hall-Dale’s rally in the sixth. Kayla Johnson led the inning with a solid single up the middle and Haley Taker followed with a walk. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch, then Johnson had a chance to score on a second wild pitch. Over halfway down the line, she changed her mind and was run down and tagged out by Hlister. The Oak Hill catcher continued the play and tagged out Taker sliding into third for an unassisted double play.

“When the ball went past me the only thing going through my head was ‘oh crap,’ ” Hlister said. “I just sprinted back there as quick as I could and was expecting a close play at home. But it turned out she changed her mind and started going back and I was able to run her down and tag her. I had no clue the other girl was right there, but when I looked up and saw her, my first instinct was to jump at her and tag her.”


Ackerman walked two and struck out eight, allowing just two balls out of the infield.

“We’re going to have some close games this year,” Acedo said. “Becca’s one of the top pitchers in the league and she’s going to keep us in games.”

Nadeau, who walked two and struck out four, kept the Bulldog hitters off balance with her change of speed and location.

“I thought this was the best outing I’ve seen her throw,” Collins said. “She hit her spots today, she worked her change-up, she was mentally tough.”

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