WINSLOW — With her team trailing Hermon by six runs going into the bottom of the seventh inning, Winslow High School softball coach Kasey Larsen didn’t give an impassioned speech. She just asked the Black Raiders to play with confidence.

“Crazier things have happened in softball than our team scoring six runs in an inning. I knew they had it in them. If they can believe it, then they’re going to make it happen,” Larsen said. “That’s how it’s been all season. If they believe they can do it, then they’re going to do it.”

The Black Raiders scored six runs in the seventh inning to tie the game, then earned the victory when Harley Pomerleau scored on Leah Knight’s single down the third base line with one out in the bottom of the eighth, taking the 9-8 Class B North preliminary round victory.

No. 8 Winslow, now 5-11, will play at No. 1 Old Town (13-3) Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals. No. 9 Hermon finished 5-11.

Pomerleau led off the eighth inning for Winslow by reaching on a dropped third strike. Lacey Sillanpaa reached on an error, and with one out, Pomerleau stole third base. Knight, Winslow’s leadoff hitter, said she wasn’t looking for any particular pitch. Her hard ground ball down the third base line was a clean hit, scoring Pomerleau and capping the rally the Black Raiders began an inning earlier.

“Really just a base hit. It was all we needed. Harley Pomerleau was on third base, and I knew she was in scoring position. I just really wanted that base hit,” Knight said.

Trailing 8-2, Pomerleau led off the bottom of the seventh with a single. With one out, Bella Morris singled and Knight reached on an error to load the bases. Pomerleau scored on a throwing error, and Nevaeh Duplessie took a bases loaded walk to score another run. Emma Michaud hit a two-run single to cut the Hawks lead to 8-6.

Dust explodes from the hands of Winslow’s Leah Knight (9) as she celebrates scoring a run on a wild pitch against Hermon during a Class B North prelim game Tuesday in Winslow. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“We got energy in the duugout. Harley started it. She got on base, and I think that kind of led the momentum. It just kept going from there,” Knight said.

Duplessie scored on Jenna Libby’s groundout to shortstop to cut Hermon’s lead to 8-7. Michaud tied the game when she scored on a wild pitch. In the top of the eighth, Hermon put two runners on but was unable to score.

“Momentum in softball is a funny thing. It’s hard to keep that going your way. We had a couple opportunities where we could have kind of pushed through early in the game, and we just weren’t quite able to get there. They really hung on and played hard,” Larsen said.

For most of the game, it looked as if Hermon’s ability to capitalize on Winslow’s mistakes would be enough for the win. Of the Hawks eight runs, five were unearned, as they capitalized on four Black Raider errors. While Hermon only had five hits off Winslow pitcher Michaud, they made them count. Veronica Chidetto scored after leading off the top of the third inning with a triple. Faith Coombs drove in a run with a triple in the fourth inning, then hit a two run double in the fifth to give the Hawks a 6-2 lead.

Hermon’s Lyndsee Reed (8) slides head first into third base before Winslow’s Leah Knight (9) can apply the tag during a Class B North prelim game Tuesday in Winslow. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

A sophomore, Michaud struck out 17 while walking eight to help keep the Black Raiders in the game.

“Emma, I don’t think there are enough good things to say about her. I think it’s rare to find leadership in somebody so young. What’s even more rare is to find composure in a pitcher so young. She’s one of the most composed athletes that I’ve seen in years. Not much fazes her. She just goes out and does her job,” Larsen said.

Hermon starter Lyndsee Reed struck out eight while walking three and allowing six hits.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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