GORHAM — The Hall-Dale softball team is in a familiar place. But it didn’t come easy.

Down by three runs after four innings, the No. 1 Bulldogs scored seven in the fifth and sixth innings to beat No. 3 Spruce Mountain 8-4 in the Class C South final on Tuesday afternoon at the University of Southern Maine.

“I think this might be the most important (regional title),” said Hall-Dale catcher Zoe Soule. “I was like, if this isn’t the one we get, I’m going to be really mad. This is definitely the one I’ve felt best (after the win).”

It’s the fourth consecutive C South title for the Bulldogs (17-2), who will play in the final at 12:30 p.m., Saturday at the University of Maine in Orono. Pitcher Ashlynn Donahue went 3 for 4 at the plate, with three RBIs for Hall-Dale, while Jade Graham and Lucy Gray each had two hits. Soule, a senior, had two hits for the Bulldogs, including a double, with two RBIs.

“We’re a second-half team, I was just kind of expecting (the comeback) to happen,” said Donahue, a senior.


Samantha Martin had three hits for the Phoenix (15-4), while Leah Burgess and Mallory Clark each added two hits. Rylee Turner had two hits, including a double, for Spruce Mountain.

“We said (Spruce Mountain) was going to attack, because they can hit the ball,” Hall-Dale head coach Steve Acedo said. “I think they have, one through nine, one of the deepest lineups, contact-wise (in the league). We started out a little flat. Luckily, we settled down.”

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, thanks to an RBI double by Soule that plated Torie Tibbetts. But Spruce Mountain scored four runs total in the second and third innings, highlighted by Turner’s double in the third. Hall-Dale played uncharacteristic defense early, making two errors in the third inning and the Phoenix entered the fifth with a 4-1 lead.

But Hall-Dale found a spark, scoring two runs in the fifth, both with two outs, including an RBI single by Soule. But the bats got really hot for the Bulldogs in the sixth with the team hitting through the order. Hall-Dale tied the game 4-4 on a bloop RBI single to right field by senior KJ Greenhalgh. Moments later, Karalyn Coro, the No. 9 hitter in the order, also had a bloop single to right, knocking in a run for the 5-4 lead. By the end of the inning, Hall-Dale was up 8-4.

“In the (fifth), we definitely got some of that momentum back, we stole some of that momentum from them,” Soule said. “That’s what we were saying (in the dugout), we need to get some of that momentum back and things will fall into place. That’s what (happened). We continued that on the field and it carried through to our offense.”

Martin and Makinlee Holt had base hits for Spruce Mountain in the seventh, but second baseman Tibbetts pulled off an unassisted double play, and Santika Hodgkin lined out to Coro, the right fielder, to end the game.

“I’m just proud of the group,” Acedo said. “(The seniors), they battled, they were leaders on the field. Even the junior class today, they stepped up and were positive… I’m just proud of the whole effort, they stayed focused and positive.”

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