SKOWHEGAN — It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where Skowhegan Area High School’s resolve comes from, whether it’s last season’s improbable run to the Class A state championship game or recent road victories this season over some of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference’s iron like Bangor and Brewer.

“I’m not sure what the answer is,” Indians’ coach Lee Johnson said after a 1-0 win over Lewiston on Wednesday temporarily vaulted them into the top spot in Class A North. “Without any seniors, you would think that would be a problem.”

It’s not, as evidenced by the late innings against the Blue Devils.

Freshman designated hitter Emma Duffy singled to start the bottom of the seventh inning, took second on Annie Cooke’s sacrifice and then scored the game’s only run on sophomore pitcher Sydney Ames’ two-out seeing-eye single up the middle. The late heroics came after Skowhegan (9-2) failed to score despite loading the bases in the fifth with only one out and after Lewiston (7-4) put runners in scoring position in each of the final two innings.

“You just have to believe and have confidence,” Duffy said. “I think we’ve come together as a team really nicely over the last few games. We’ve stuck together and pulled out the wins.”

The Indians, who have won four straight, had the Blue Devils on the ropes in the fifth. Cooke started the rally with a one-out infield single, and right fielder Ashley Everett followed with a double that skipped all the way to the 215-foot marker in center. After a walk to Ames, Lewiston pitcher Danielle Cyr got Julia Steeves looking at a called third strike, and Sydney Reed’s fly ball to deep left was corralled by Lewiston’s Kallie May — who misread the ball initially, getting turned around before recovering to make the catch — to work out of the jam.

The pitch before the final out, ball three to Reed, bounced to the backstop but Cooke never broke from third.

“We thought we had some opportunities to swing away,” Johnson said. “We just didn’t come up with the timely (hit) until late in the game.”

Lewiston, which like Skowhegan doesn’t have a senior on its roster, failed to come up with a run in the sixth when it had its best chance to get on the board. Megan Theriault led off the frame with a single to center, but the decision not to tag and advance to second on Jordan Mynahan’s warning-track fly ball came back to haunt the Blue Devils when Theriault couldn’t get past third base on a two-out single from Cyr (3 for 3).

In the seventh, leadoff hitter Jordyn Rubin (two stolen bases) was thrown out trying to steal third with two outs and the heart of the order coming up.

“We played our buns off against a great team,” Lewiston coach Mike Child said. “We made some mistakes on the bases, and we have to correct those. That’s what good teams will do, they’ll make those mistakes and correct them. Hopefully, by (Thursday) against Cony we’ve corrected them.”

Though Ames never worked a 1-2-3 inning, she limited the damage by working around the five hits and three walks she allowed with nine strikeouts and an error-free defense behind her. Ames’ changeup kept Lewiston’s lineup off balance, but it was her ability to pitch to both sides of the plate — and at both the top and bottom of the zone — that enabled her success.

She was effectively wild in and around the strike zone.

“When I start off in a bad way, I try to come back from that,” Ames said. “If I don’t end up coming back (in the count), I just worry about the next batter. I can normally forget about it.”

Where Ames held any Blue Devil not named Danielle Cyr to just two total hits, the bottom third of Skowhegan’s order produced. Duffy, Cooke and Everett went a combined 4 for 7 to set up the top of the lineup. Cooke had two hits, while Duffy put a charge into the ball all three times she was up, finally coming through to set up the winning score in the seventh.

“That’s what you hope for,” Johnson said. “You want a little production all the way down through. You want to have some depth to your lineup, and that’s what we had today.”

The Indians are the defending A North champs but their is parity in the division again — 13 of the 14 KVAC A teams have at least two losses, meaning every game from here on out has the potential to be tight.

“We gave ourselves a chance in the end,” Johnson said. “That’s a good team over there, both kids threw well and the defenses played well. It just came down to one timely hit that a team got. That’s kind of seems to be the trend throughout the year — whichever team comes up with the timely hit comes up with the win.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.