Sure, the 15th-ranked Belfast softball team had yet to register a high school diamond win on the 2021 season.

But, going into their Class B North prelim playoff with highly-touted and second-ranked Ellsworth on Monday, June 7, be damned if the Lions were going down without a fight.

While the Lions did hold the typically high-scoring Eagles to only five runs, the visitors could not push a run across the plate and, ultimately, saw their season come to an end as Ellsworth earned a 5-0 win.

“[I] told the girls in the beginning of the game that playoffs starts a brand new slate,” said Lion coach Sarah Bryant. “It’s anyone’s game.”

The first-year coach said, “We knew what ballplayers they really are and our season stats do not justify our playing capabilities.”

And the Lions went down swinging against the opponent with the best win/loss record in the region.

With the win, Ellsworth (15-1) advances to the quarterfinals, where it will face No. 7 Mount Desert Island (8-7) or No. 10 John Bapst of Bangor (6-6).

Belfast saw its season conclude at 0-17.

In Monday's playoff encounter, Ellsworth scored two in the first inning and added single runs in the third, fifth and sixth.

Lexi Hopkins went the first five inning in the pitch circle for Belfast and Natalie Hamlin the final frame, as the Lion duo allowed seven hits and two walks, with six strikeouts. Tyler Hellum pitched for Ellsworth, as she allowed four hits and no walks, with 10 strikeouts.

The Lions were led at the plate by Mia Winslow (2 hits), Hayle Withee (hit) and Hopkins (hit).

For the Eagles, Casey Carter (run), Alex Bivens (run), Kayla Duhaine (3 hits, 3 RBIs, 2 runs), Morgan Duhaime (hit) and Annabelle Hackett (hit, run) paced the offense.

“The girls did a fabulous job,” said Bryant. “Despite the heat. We had to ‘cowboy up.’ Lexi Hopkins pitched a hell of a game and battled [and] we threw in Natalie Hamlin at the end to give Lexi a break and throw their timing off. We hit the ball, but right at them, of course. I think we made them nervous.”

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