The high school softball game between Belfast and Mount View May 21 was not about playoff positioning, with both teams well out of the Eastern Class B playoff race with only one win between them.

Monday’s game, however, was more about pride between the Waldo County rivals and proved a close affair between the Lions and Mustangs for much of the contest, before the hosts rallied for seven unanswered runs late to pick up a 7-1 victory.

Mount View is still winless on the campaign and will close out the season with games against Waterville and Nokomis of Newport. For Belfast, it was the team’s second win in the last three games after beginning the season on a nine-game losing streak.

“I’m just so happy for these girls,” said Belfast coach Chris Bartlett. “They’ve just battled and battled this year. They had high hopes at the beginning of the year and maintained that through the toughest part of our schedule. We opened up the season with Medomak [Valley] and Oceanside and then Maranacook and you just get pounded on like we did. But they kept working hard and I’m just happy to see them finally getting rewarded for it.”

For Belfast, Maddy Cummings (single, 2 runs, stolen base), Makayla Cummings (2 singles, run), Killyan Richards (2 singles, steal, run), Ashley Littlefield (single) and Alexis Porter (single, run) led the offensive charge.

Keying Mount View’s offense were Wendy Gibbs (single, steal), Kersey Boulet (single), Abbie Charrier (single) and Emily English (single).

Richards pitched for Belfast, allowing four hits and one walk, with six strikeouts. Hailey Giggey pitched for Mount View, scattering eight hits, three walks and two hit batters, with five strikeouts.

Mount View took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning and looked on its way to its first win of the year after Leeann Larrabee reached on a fielder’s choice, took second on a passed ball and scored on an error.

The Mustangs carried that edge into the fifth inning, where the combination of timely hitting and good fortune translated into seven unanswered Lion runs. Six of the seven runs came with two outs in the frame, while the other came in the sixth inning.

“It was really the fifth inning that bit us in the backside,” said Mount View coach Mike Gagnon. “We played very well defensively, the girls were up, Hailey was throwing well. I think she was overmatching a lot of the Belfast batters, actually. Things looked good.”

Porter rapped a lead single to start the fifth frame and later advanced to second after Maddy Cummings drew a walk around a strikeou and then a sacrifice by Britt Mellor.

Becca Leonard then reached on an error to load the bases for Makayla Cummings, who reached on a fielder’s choice, which plated Porter after the attempted force out at third base was late.

Then things got interesting.

With Richards at the plate, Makayla Cummings attempted to steal second base, which was occupied by Leonard. After the catcher Boulet fired to Fran Stevens at third base, Stevens fired the ball across the diamond in an attempt to get the final out of the inning, but the ball sailed over the head of English and out of play, which allowed two runs to score and give the Lions a 3-1 lead.

It was a bizarre play to say the least, but one that paid off for the hosts.

“I thought it was [runners on] first and third and I thought, ‘Coach isn’t giving me the signal [to steal] so I’m just going to go,” said Makayla Cummings a senior and four-year starter for Belfast. “I didn’t see my [teammate] on second so I just started sprinting and I hear coach [Bartlett] yelling for me to get back and I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ I had no idea.”

Makayla Cummings said she could not recall whether she overran the bag or Leonard, which would have been an automatic out, but added she “could have high-fived her” at second base.

Sometimes, it is better to be lucky.

“That’s the first time things have actually fallen towards us this year,” Makayla Cummings said. “Hey, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to win.”

“I’m still trying to figure it out,” said Bartlett. “She took off and I actually was watching what was going on at home plate then I heard coach Gagnon hollering for his girl to throw it to first and I looked over at first base and [Cummings] was gone. She was cruising into second base and Becca luckily was a couple steps off the bag [towards third, so Cummings did not pass her].

“It was the oddest play I’ve seen,” the veteran coach said.

The wheels came off for Mount View from there.

Richards rapped an RBI-single to make it 4-1, while Katrina Lapham reached on an error and Kallee Merrifield drew a walk to load the bases before Porter was hit by a pitch, to force in another run.

Littlefield then knocked in a run with a single before the inning came to an end.

Belfast added an insurance run in the sixth inning when Makayla Cummings rapped an RBI-single to plate her sister Maddy Cummings.

In the Maine Principals’ Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Belfast (2-11, 3.3594 points) is 17th, while Mount View (0-14, no points) is 19th. Oceanside (12-1, 93.5398 points) is first in the 19-team region. The top 13 teams qualify for the playoffs.

Courier Publications Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at mhaskell@courlerpublicationsllc.com.