Junior right-hander Morgan-Carter Moulton tossed a four-hitter, and freshman catcher Rae Barron stroked a two-out, two-run single in a three-run third inning as Bangor High School overcame five errors to beat youthful Lewiston 4-2 in a Class A North softball quarterfinal at the sun-splashed Bangor High School field Thursday.
Third seed Bangor (12-5) won its eighth straight game, while No. 6 Lewiston concluded an 8-9 campaign. The Rams travel to No. 2 Oxford Hills of South Paris (16-1) in a Saturday semifinal.
Moulton, who struck out 14, allowed only one earned run and pitched out of several jams to earn her 10th win in 15 decisions.
She threw 74 strikes among her 98 pitches and issued three walks, two of which were intentional.
“My spins were working pretty well today, and I hit my spots when I needed to,” said Moulton, who thought her off-speed pitches were the most effective.
“She had a pretty good riseball, too,” said Lewiston right fielder Maddy Mercier, one of just two seniors on the Blue Devils roster.
“She kept us off balance,” Lewiston coach Ryan Cormier said.
Lewiston received a quality performance from sophomore righty Izzy Cormier, who featured a tantalizing slow changeup to go with a fastball and a regular changeup.
She allowed eight hits and walked one but didn’t strike out anybody. Her teammates, led by slick-fielding sophomore shortstop Gemma Landry, played errorless ball behind her.
“We’ve been focusing on the fundamentals. Bangor is a good hitting team, and we couldn’t afford to give them extra outs,” Cormier said.
Bangor coach Don Stanhope said Cormier pitched well.
Bangor made three of its five errors in the third inning, which helped Lewiston take a 2-0 lead.
Kallie May reached on a bunt single, and Mercier was hit by a pitch before Abby Chartier reached on a throwing error to load the bases. Landry’s sacrifice fly produced the first run, then another throwing error allowed the second run to score.
An ensuing throwing error on the same play put runners on second and third, but Moulton struck out the next two hitters to get out of the jam.
Bangor took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the third.
Hannah Burby poked a single to left and, one out later, Moulton drilled a sharp single to center.
Madison Drake singled off the second baseman’s glove and Smith’s fielder’s choice drove in the first run before Barron ripped her decisive single up the middle.
“I just wanted to get on base, hit a single and pass the bat [to the next hitter],” Barron said. “I think she threw me a fastball. I was just trying to hit it up the middle or to the right side to move the runners along.”
“Rae has been working hard all year, and she has come up clutch for us,” Moulton said.
Bangor added an insurance run in the sixth on Jenna Smith’s pop-fly single, Olivia Hoovler’s line drive double to left-center, Cambria Prophete’s bunt single and Lane Barron’s fielder’s choice back to the mound.
“We’re good under pressure. When we needed to rally, we did it,” Bangor senior center fielder Drake said.
Moulton stranded two runners in the fifth, and left fielder Prophete’s clutch throw to the plate in the seventh nailed a runner after two errors were followed by Charlotte Cloutier’s single to left.
“I saw [Abby Chartier] running to the plate, so I thought ‘I got this’ and threw it,” Prophete said.
“That was huge,” Stanhope said.
Runners went to second and third, and Moulton intentionally walked slugging center fielder Jordyn Rubin for the second time. With the bases loaded, Moulton threw out a runner at the plate on a bunt and struck out the last hitter.
Lewiston’s Cloutier was the game’s only repeat hitter with two singles.
Bangor was without cleanup hitter Rowan Andrews, who will be back for Saturday’s game after attending a forensics camp in Annapolis, Maryland. Starting first baseman Lydia Chase has been lost for the season with mononucleosis.