With two games remaining in the regular season, the Erskine softball team is in a battle for its playoff life.

Erskine is in a dead heat with Maine Central Institute for the 12th and final playoff spot in the Class B North tournament standings. The Eagles are 5-9 with games remaining against top-seeded Gardiner (14-1) and Morse (10-4), which is sixth in Class B South.

Maine Central Institute stands at 5-10 with a game left against Mount View (2-12). Should MCI win that game, the Eagles will need a win over Gardiner or Morse to get into the tournament. The Eagles own the tiebreaker, having beaten MCI 5-1 this season.

Erskine’s record could easily be reversed this season since five of its losses came by one run. That includes a 1-0 loss to Gardiner in nine innings and a 6-5 loss to Morse on a walk-off home run.

“The team I have fights to the very end,” Erskine coach Holly Tripp said.

The Eagles are aware of their situation, Tripp said, and she’s confident they can win one of their last two. They’re schedule to play at Gardiner on Tuesday and she expects Friday’s rained-out Morse game to be played in South China on Thursday.


“If our defense can tighten up, we’ll be OK,” she said.

The Eagles returned five players with varsity experience this spring and have at times been hurt by errors.

“Our young players are learning every day,” Tripp said.

• • •

Hall-Dale’s season has gone pretty much as coach Steve Acedo expected. The Bulldogs are 6-8 and in eighth place in the 15-team Class C South standings. They have one remaining game Tuesday against Mt. Abram.

“I kind of expected us to be in the middle of the pack which is exactly where we are,” Acedo said.


Play has been up and down for the team this year due to an inexperienced lineup.

“It’s more mental this year with a young team,” Acedo said.

The Bulldogs played their best game of the season at unbeaten Madison. After falling behind in the first inning, they tied the game at 6-all in the sixth inning. Madison rallied for a 15-7 win, but Acedo was pleased with the effort.

“They battled right to the end,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to get out of them.”

Sophomore Kailey Roberts took over on the mound this year after being used in spot duty last season and is throwing harder.

“When her location is on, it’s still hard to hit,” Acedo said.


The Hall-Dale coach juggled his defense a few games ago and it’s yielded results. He moved Alyssa Bonenfant from shortstop to catcher, Jill Whynot from third to short and Grace Begin from catcher to first. It’s not only shored up his defense, but Begin has come on strong at the plate.

Acedo pointed out that there are no overpowering pitchers in the Mountain Valley Conference although there are several good ones, most of whom are underclassmen.

“I’m hoping down the stretch we stay focused,” he said. “We’ve got as good a chance as anybody.”

• • •

It’s unusual not to see Cony at or near the top of the Class A North standings. The Rams have been a perennial powerhouse in Class A, having gone unbeaten during the regular season three years ago and winning the state championship in 2012.

This spring the Rams are 6-8 and in the 12th and final tournament spot. They have games left against Messalonskee and Brunswick. They’ve finished above .500 and made the playoffs every year in Rocky Gaslin’s previous 13 years as head coach. And have appeared in six Eastern Maine title games.


They won’t miss the playoffs since they’re solidly locked into at least 12th place, but the best they can do is .500 if they win remaining games against Messalonskee and Brunswick.

The team has scored runs and, although neither is overpowering, junior Cari Hopkins and sophomore Gabby McGuire have pitched well enough to win. The defense, though, has been erratic.

“We’re a little bit young,” Gaslin said. “Once we start making errors, we keep on going.”

Unlike most seasons, the Rams find themselves in a rebuilding mode.

“We’ve always had a lot of dominant players,” said Gaslin, who added, “there’s really not a dominant team (in our league).”

Defending regional champion Skowhegan emerged from the pack last year after going 9-7 in the regular season. The Indians are currently in first place in Class A North, but the Rams played them well before falling 6-4 and are capable of a playoff run.

“We have the talent,” Gaslin said. “We’ve just got to put it together.”

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