Gardiner’s Lainey Cooley fires a pitch while third baseman Taylor Takatsu is ready during a Class B North quarterfinal game against Fryeburg Academy on Friday in Gardiner. The Tigers won, 6-1. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

GARDINER — Sophomore Lainey Cooley scattered five hits, striking out nine, and Gardiner took advantage of a couple Fryeburg miscues in a Class B South 6-1 quarterfinal victory Friday at Somerville Field.

Defense was the key for the No. 2 Tigers (16-2), as it held Fryeburg (10-8) to just five hits.

A key play came in the third inning when the Raiders had a runner on third and one out in a scoreless game. With Emma Rydman on third, Ana Maillett dropped down a bunt in front of home plate. Cooley came out of the pitching circle and fielded it, tagged out Rydman after faking a snap throw to first.

“We call that “Billy” and it actually works a lot,” said Cooley “I was surprised she was right there.”

Gardiner coach Ryan Gero liked Cooley’s aggressive play.

“That was a heads-up play,” said Gero. “She looked at me and asked me if that situation comes up what do I want her to do, and I told her to make the play. I have trust in her, she’s an all-conference player for a reason.”

Gardiner catcher Devin Clary tags out Fryeburg Academy baserunner Katy McIntyre during the sixth inning of a Class B South quarterfinal game Friday in Gardiner. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

And the coach could not have agreed more about his team’s solid defense.

“These girls know the game and they’re willing to take chances,” he added. “We’re always looking for an out no matter where we get it.”


The Tigers opened the scoring in the bottom half of the third after Maddie Innman led off with an infield single and advanced to third after a steal and sacrifice bunt. Corinne Vasvary drove her in with a single.

The home team plated three more runs in the fourth after Grace Deering and Brooke Gero led off with hits, and with one out, a Fryeburg throwing error led to two more runs. Cooley then smacked an RBI double to give Gardiner a 4-0 lead.

“We could have showed a little better than we did,” said Fryeburg coach Susan Thurston. “Sometimes, you get on this stage and things start to fall apart and sometimes that is hard to bounce back from.”

Gardiner’s Brooke Gero dives safely into second base ahead of the throw as Fryeburg Academy shortstop Camden Jones steps up to make a play during a Class B North quarterfinal game Friday in Gardiner. The Tigers won, 6-1. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

Defense was in the forefront one more time when McIntyre tried scoring from second on a ball hit into short left, but Gardiner’s Taylor Takatsu fired a strike to catcher Devin Clary that ended the sixth.

“Our defense has been shut down all year. We pick each other up if we make a mistake and brush it off and we stick together and play hard,” said Cooley.

Vasvary finished with three hits, while Brooke Gero and Innman each had a pair in the Gardiner 12-hit attack. Rydman had a pair of hits for the Raiders while Shelby Purslow added and RBI-single

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