READFIELD — This is not the place Lauryn Wood imagined she’d be pitching her final home game for the Winthrop softball team.

Turf fields aren’t exactly a pitcher’s best friend with the way the ball rolls almost as hard as it would on a hard surface after contact. Wood, though, isn’t going to complain — not after what she did Tuesday to propel her team to a Class C South prelim victory.

Wood struck out 15 batters in a two-hit performance and gave up a lone unearned run in Winthrop’s 7-1 win over Telstar at Kents Hill School. The win sent the Ramblers to the regional quarterfinals, where they’ll face a Hall-Dale team that has won 52 games in a row.

That game is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Thursday, weather permitting.

“Turf is definitely different, but I play on turf all summer long (in softball and field hockey), so I’m used to it,” said Wood, whose prelim showdown was moved from Winthrop High School to the Kents Hill turf as a result of field conditions. “I just threw the ball, and my teammates had my back out there.”

Neither team mustered much in the way of scoring threats over the first two innings. With Wood taking care of business for seventh-ranked Winthrop (9-8) and the Telstar defense making some nice plays in the field, the game was scoreless as the two teams went to the third.


After Wood worked her way out of a jam in the top of the third, Winthrop broke the deadlock. First, Haley Williams singled home Madeline Wagner for the game’s first run. Two batters later, after No. 10 Telstar (5-10) was called for fielder’s interference, the Ramblers plated two runners on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.

From there, Wood would be almost perfect. The senior struck out two batters in the fourth, struck out the side in the fifth and fanned two more in the top of the sixth before helping her cause with an RBI triple in the bottom half as part of a four-running. She lost the shutout in the seventh following two errors, but would fan three more batters.

Wood, Williams and Ella Rice had two hits each for Winthrop, which also got hits from Wagner and Annabell Blais. Even in the innings that saw the Ramblers fail to score, head coach Chuck Gurney was confident in his team’s ability to come through eventually with the way his girls were hitting the ball.

“We were hitting the ball and hitting the ball hard, and if you keep hitting it, sober or late, you’re going to find a gap,” Gurney said. “We had great resolve. This is my last season coaching after 18 years, and our girls just didn’t want that season to end just yet.”

Telstar’s run came on a single from Morgan Zetts with one out in the seventh inning after the two Winthrop errors put as many runners on base. Payton Berry had the other hit for the Rebels on a single in the third. Maylyn Hastings had four strikeouts for Telstar in the loss.

Now, the Ramblers will be tasked with taking on a second-ranked Hall-Dale team that’s won two straight Class C South titles and hasn’t lost since 2019. In the circle will be their ace, who said she’s feeling plenty confident after her effort Tuesday.

“They’ve got to lose at some point, right?” Wood said. “We just can’t be worrying that it’s Hall-Dale; we’ve got to be confident and go in there with our heads held high.”

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