Thayer home run for naught as mighty Warriors blast Lions in prelimBelfast manages three hits, ends season at 5-12
Newport — The Belfast softball team knew it would have its hands full in the Lions' Eastern Class B prelim playoff game against host Nokomis of Newport on Tuesday afternoon, June 10.
Not only were the Lions the 13th and final seed to qualify for the single-elimination tournament, but the No. 4 Warriors lost just one game all season — the final game of the regular season — to top-ranked Gardiner — in extra innings.
The seeds held true in Tuesday's prelim. And while the Lions struck first, it was the Warriors who struck often in a 13-1, 5-inning victory over Belfast.
Nokomis (17-1) will host No. 5 Oceanside (12-5) in an Eastern Class B quarterfinal playoff game on Thursday, June 12 in Newport. Belfast's season ended at 5-12.
The Warriors also eliminated the Lions from the postseason last year.
“They hit the ball really well,” said Belfast coach Chris Bartlett of the Warriors. “They hit the ball better than they did last year. We played Gardiner [earlier in the year] and I think they hit the ball harder than Gardiner did. And they consistently hit the ball hard. We knew it was going to be a tough matchup, we just wanted to come out, be relaxed and have the mentality of: 'We have nothing to lose.' ”
Leading the Warriors at the plate were Sierra Packard (run, stolen base), Sarah Packard (single, 2 runs), Becky Orcutt (single), Courtney Carlson (2 singles), Kirsten Costedio (run), Rosalie Bowman (run), Kamryn Foss (run), Sydney Hansen (run), Libby Dunavan (2 singles, run), Drew Graves (single), Mikayla Charters (triple, double, 2 runs), Natasha Howard (run) and Shannon Kasterzak (single, 2 runs).
For the Lions, Casey Thayer (home run, single) and Mariah Sturgis (double) paced the offense.
Packard pitched for Nokomis, allowing three hits and no walks, with six strikeouts. Ashley Littlefield pitched for Belfast, scattering 10 hits and two walks, with six strikeouts.
Belfast got on the board quickly as Thayer tattooed a Packard offering over the center-field fence to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
“They definitely weren't expecting it,” said Bartlett of Thayer's home run. “And I'm not going to say it had a big effect on Packard, but you could see she was obviously disappointed. Casey did a nice job. She's hit the ball hard all year.”
However, Nokomis zeroed in on Littlefield its second time through the lineup as the hosts scored three runs in the third, seven in the fourth and three more in the fifth to walk off with the win.
Bartlett said Littlefield got off to a nice start in the early going in the pitching circle.
“She struck out two of the first three batters and put a little bit of doubt in [the hosts'] mind,” he said of Littlefield. “But once they got back around to the top part of their lineup for the second time they kind of timed her up. We made a few errors, but I was proud of how we played.”
The Lions also lost to the Warriors 10-0 in a regular-season game.
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Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. He has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School.
Mark is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox, fantasy sports, the AMC drama "Breaking Bad" and iced coffee.
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn and sons Beckett and Austin.
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