Softball team heading to NAC playoffs

The Castleton Spartan softball team split its fifth straight doubleheader matchup last Sunday when the team visited its division rival Elms College. The Spartans lost game one 2-1, but fought back in the second game, squeaking by Elms 7-5. Before the Spartans hit the road to visit Elms, though, the team played its last home-field doubleheader of the season last Thursday against Maine-Farmington.

The Spartans were brutalized by Maine-Farmington in the first game 13-3, so they were looking for payback in game two.

The Spartans had the lead for the majority of game two, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning and taking a 5-4 lead into the top of the seventh inning. Things quickly went sour for the Spartans, though, as Me.-Farmington strung together a few hits, including a leadoff homerun and a double, and took the lead for the first time.

The Spartans went into the bottom of the seventh trailing 6-5, but that didn’t bother them one bit.

“After they took the lead going into the bottom of the 7th inning, I had the confidence that we would pull it off,” said assistant coach Brigette Olson. “The girls just had that look that they did not want to lose.”

Allison Lamay had the same feeling.

“Our whole team went into the seventh with the mentality that we were not losing that game,” said Lamay, a senior first baseman.

After a quick groundout began the bottom of the seventh, the Spartans began to chip away at Maine’s one-run lead. Hilary Bemis hit a rocket off the top of the wall in center field, which caused the center fielder to violently crash into the flimsy wall, knocking it over.

“When I hit the ball, I wasn’t thinking about anything really other than to just run,” said Bemis.

Bemis did just run, and she ended up at third base.

As a result, Me.-Farmington made a pitching change, bringing in its game one starter, Sarah Defilipp.

The Spartans didn’t mind facing Defilipp a second time because the next batter, Lamay, connected for an RBI single. Alicia Zraunig then stepped up to the plate and quickly greeted the Me.-Farmington pitcher with a single to right field.

An error moved the runners over to second and third with one out in the tie game.

Sarah Flore stepped into the batter’s box determined to give her team the win.

Flore hit a ground ball to the second baseman, and Lamay took off from third base. She took a head-first dive into home plate, eating a copious amount of dirt, and crossed without a throw from the infield.

Lamay was instantly mobbed by excited teammates and coaches alike.

“When I got to third, the first thing that coach said to me was ‘anything to the outfield you’re scoring on.’ That got me in the mindset that any chance I had to score I could take it,” said Lamay. “Normally there is no way I would have run on that ball; I’ll be the first to admit that I lack speed.”

After Thursday’s comeback win against Me.-Farmington, the Spartans carried their momentum into Sunday’s doubleheader against Elms but had to settle for another split.

The Spartans finish the regular season with an overall record of 11-21 and an NAC record of 9-9.

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