The Medomak Valley baseball and softball teams earned a pair of dramatic victories Tuesday afternoon in their regular-season finales as the Panthers hosted Belfast in what, at least on the softball field, had serious playoff implications.

With one game having only three runs cross the plate and the other contest needing a three-run, walkoff home run to decide a winner, spectators for all the squads got more than they bargained for as both the Panthers and Lions put on a show.

In the end, it was the host Panthers who prevailed in both contests, with the softball team grinding out a 2-1 win over playoff-bound Belfast. The Medomak Valley baseball team needed a flare for the dramatic to pull out its victory, as first baseman John Murray connected on a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the hosts a 9-6 win.

Both the Panther and Lion baseball teams are out of the Eastern Class B postseason race, while both the Medomak Valley and Belfast softball squads are moving on to the regional playoffs. Medomak Valley also will play for the conference title in the coming days (see accompanying online story).


Medomak 2, Belfast 1 … The Panthers capitalized on a few Lion miscues and got a sensational performace from sophomore pitcher Desiree Benner as the Panthers capped the regular season with another victory — their 15th in 16 attempts.

Desiree Benner twirled a no-hitter for the Panthers, while walking eight batters and striking out four. Teammate and cousin Kasey Benner caught the no-hitter for Medomak Valley.

Victoria Overlock was nearly as good in the pitcher’s circle for Belfast, allowing only three hits throughout the game while walking two and striking out 10. Kasey Benner, Alanna Vose and Lindsay Ranquist had the only hits for the Panthers.

Medomak Valley struck first after Mallory Conary reached on an error, stole second base and scored on a base hit up the middle by Kasey Benner to put the hosts ahead 1-0. The Panthers later were the beneficiaries of a bit of bad luck for the Lions, when Christensen drew a walk, stole second and then moved to third after another walk was issued to the Panthers.

The ball was misplayed and got away from the Lion catcher and, as Christensen reached third, the ball rolled out of play, allowing Christensen to come home with the Panthers’ second run.

The Lions scored in the sixth inning after Killyan Richards walked, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and took third on a wild pitch. She scored on another wild pitch to cut the Panther lead in half.

Lion coach Chris Bartlett was happy with his team’s effort, but could not shy away from the fact that “this is one we should have won.”

“They took advantage of some of our errors and their pitcher did a real nice job of working both sides of the plate,” said Bartlett. “She was mixing up her change-up pretty well and she had us off-balance for most of the game. She didn’t have a lot of strikeouts, but they made some great defensive plays.”

Belfast (9-7, 66.2600 points) is eighth in the Maine Principals’ Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, while Medomak Valley (15-1, 149.6484 points) is first in the 19-team region.


Medomak Valley 9, Belfast 6 … The Panthers won their final game of the year in dramatic fashion off the bat of sophomore first baseman Murray.

With the score tied 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Murray tattooed a pitch over the left-field fence as the Panthers walked off with a thrilling three-run win.

“This was a great ending to a great season,” said Medomak Valley coach Scott Hastings. “Once again, we got down early and we came back fighting. Alex Greenrose had several key hits, including a two-run home run to tie and take the lead in the bottom of the fifth [inning]. Also, in the seventh, John Murray was looking to hit the ball to the outfield and he did that with a great blast over the left-field fence for a walkoff, three-run homer. The seniors came up big in their last game having a combined eight hits and five runs. Senior captains Isaac and Kyle Durkee were fantastic in the fifth having back-to-back doubles. Seniors, Isaac Durkee, Kyle Durkee, Chris Benedict, Brandon Gresham and Gabe Delano showed great leadership this season and will be greatly missed.”

Murray (home run), Alex Greenrose (home run, single), Isaac Durkee (double, 2 singles) and Chris Bebedict (3 singles) led Medomak Valley, while Lew Dyer (2 singles) keyed Belfast at the plate.

Kyle Durkee tossed two innings for Medomak Valley, allowing one hit and three walks, while striking out two. Adam Lynch pitched 2 2/3 innings for the Panthers, allowing two hits and one walk, while fanning one, and Isaac Greenrose went the final 2 1/3, allowing two hits and two walks, while striking out one.

Scott Kulikowski pitched 4 2/3 innings for Belfast, allowing 10 hits and striking out two batters. Caleb Cook went the rest of the way, allowing four hits and two walks, while striking one.

Belfast took a 3-0 lead in the third inning after Kulikowski scored on an error, Dyer crossed the plate on a fielder’s choice and Craig Herbert’s RBI-groundout. The visitors added another run in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Damien Benner, but the Panthers cut the deficit to 4-1 after an Alex Greenrose sacrifice fly plated a run.

Belfast scored another run in the top of the fifth, but Medomak Valley responded with a five-run fourth inning on a Kyle Durkee RBI-double, a two-run double from Isaac Durkee and a two-run blast by Alex Greenrose as the hosts took a 6-5 lead.

The Lions drew even in the top of the sixth stanza on Larry Dyer’s RBI-single to set the table for Murray’s heroics in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Medomak Valley (9-7, 77.1875 points) is 12th in Eastern Class B, while Belfast (4-12, 15.6641 points) 15th. Waterville (14-2, 133.8672 points) is first in the 19-team region. The top 10 teams qualify for postseason play.

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