FAIRFIELD — Following the Lawrence softball team’s most recent loss, there was a clear point of emphasis for the Bulldogs heading into the regular season finale.

For as well as it played in a heavyweight showdown with undefeated Nokomis, troubles coming through with runners in scoring position ultimately saw Lawrence fall in extra innings. It was exactly what didn’t happen this time as the Bulldogs brought home, well, just about every runner they could.

Lawrence closed out the regular season with a 16-1 win over Maranacook on Wednesday in a cross-class Kennebec Valley Conference Showdown. The win came as the Bulldogs plated seven runs in the third inning and nine runs in the fourth as pitcher Sage Reed kept the Black Bears at bay with a 13-strikeout performance.

“We’re a good team, and that’s what we should do,” said Lawrence head coach Joey Marcoux. “We were patient, and we let the ball come to us. We had to get used to the pitching — it took us the first time through the lineup — but once we got used to it, we were all over it. It’s a good feeling.”

Reed struck out all three batters in the first inning and overcame a hit and an error in the second by fanning three more batters. Despite the senior ace’s early strikeout spree, Lawrence (12-4) failed to lead after two as Maranacook starting pitcher Alexis Michaud escaped jams in both innings.

After Reed retired the side in the third, though, that would change. With Lawrence up 1-0 with the bases loaded, Rylee Veilleux hit a bases-clearing triple to the fence to break open the game. Two batters later, Ashley Shores crushed a home run to right-center field to make it 6-0 Bulldogs.


Lawrence’s Maylie Knox (25) makes it to second base as Maranacook’s Shyla Woodford (13) drops the ball while trying to apply the tag during a softball game Wednesday in Fairfield. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“It was inside corner, and that’s where I’ve hit most of my home runs,” said the freshman Shores, whose home run was her fourth of the season. “I go to a lot of hitting clinics; I do pitching clinics, too, but mostly, I work on hitting. … It felt very, very good. I’m excited.”

Although Maranacook (13-3) got a run back in the top of the fourth, Lawrence turned the game into even more of a rout in the bottom half as it posted an even bigger crooked number. The Bulldogs sent 15 batters to the plate in the inning, riding six base hits and five errors by the Black Bears to a nine-run frame.

Reed, who effortlessly closed out the game with a one-two-three inning in the fifth to enact the mercy rule, allowed just two hits on the afternoon. She forced Maranacook batters to whiff on pitches up and away multiple times, something she felt confident in her ability to do entering the game.

“We’ve been playing them for a couple years now, and we know by now where each batter can and can’t hit it,” Reed said. “I just pitched them where they couldn’t hit it last year, and that worked.”

Michaud allowed six runs in 2 2/3 innings of work for Maranacook before Allie LaBelle relieved her in the third. LaBelle doubled for the Black Bears in the top of the fourth before Kaleigh Kubicki drove her in with Maranacook’s other hit two batters later.

Despite the disappointment from the to Nokomis, Marcoux said his team entered Wednesday with enthusiasm after taking an unbeaten team to 10 innings. Beating a team that had lost just twice all year in emphatic fashion, though, was admittedly a much better feeling as Lawrence looks to the playoffs.


Lawrence’s Ashley Shores fields the throw at first base for the out on Maranacooks Shyla Woodford during a softball game Wednesday in Fairfield. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“I don’t think losing to a good team in 10 innings would have necessarily been a bad way to go into the playoffs, but this feels really good,” Marcoux said. “To have an offensive outpouring, that’s what we needed. We knew we were capable of something like this, and today, we did it.”

Both teams are likely to finish in third place in the final Heal points in their respective regions, Maranacook in Class C South and Lawrence in C North. The Bulldogs could have fallen to fifth with a loss, only adding to the importance of producing an emphatic performance Wednesday.

“It’s the last regular season game, and we knew we had to come out with a win,” Reed said. “It’s important because of (our seeding) but also because you want to make sure everyone has good attitudes and show you can bounce back.”


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