Junior third baseman Meghan Delahanty couldn’t have scripted a better return to the Hampden Academy softball lineup than Monday’s 6-5 Class A North win over Bangor.
Delahanty, who broke her leg in practice the day before her Penobscot Pioneers hockey team’s Class A North final against Yarmouth-Freeport in February, hit a two-run triple in the sixth inning and drove in what proved to be the winning run in the seventh as the Broncos rallied from a 5-0 deficit.
She also had a second-inning single as Hampden improved to 4-3 while Bangor fell to 3-4.
While Delahanty had appeared in a couple of games this season, Monday was her first start, and it included several nice defensive plays at the hot corner, including two in the seventh inning.
“It was easy to get back into it,” Delahanty said. “I’ve been playing my whole life.”
Hampden Academy trailed 5-2 going into the sixth inning but Cat Facchini’s base hit and a walk to Callie Small set the table for Delahanty, who lined the ball to left to deliver them both. Bangor left fielder Emma Kennedy made a valiant dive for the ball but it skipped past her for a triple. Mariah Coon then delivered Delahanty with a bloop single over the drawn-in infield.
In the seventh, Allie Wellman drew a lead-off walk and Madison Cain drew a two-out walk before Delahanty ripped a single to center to score Wellman.
“I was just looking for the ball. I wasn’t looking for anything special. I just wanted to hit,” Delahanty said. “It felt really good.”
Hampden starting pitcher Charlee Chute was touched up for five runs in the first two innings but Bangor never scored again as she retired the Rams in the third and fourth innings and freshman Facchini tossed three innings of one-hit relief to earn the win.
“We had great at-bats, we played well defensively and our pitchers did amazing. We just didn’t get that late-in-the-game hit to go ahead,” said Bangor coach Sophia Sciarappa, who used Raegan Sprague and Taylor Clark in the pitching circle.
Hampden coach Jaimee Perry said her team was a little nervous at first “but then they picked their heads up and started believing in themselves.”
Hampden began its comeback in the fourth inning with a pair of runs courtesy of a lead-off single by Facchini, two wild pitches, a walk and an infield throwing error.
Bangor took a 3-0 lead in the first on a hit batsman, a walk, Casey Carter’s base hit, Cassidy Richardson’s sacrifice fly and a run-producing wild pitch.
The Rams made it 5-0 in the second on another hit batsman, Kennedy’s bunt single, Emmie Streams’ sacrifice fly and a throwing error on Cassidy Ireland’s base hit.
In addition to Delahanty’s three hits and three runs batted-in, Facchini was also a repeat hitter for the Broncos with two singles.
Ireland had two singles for Bangor while Taylor Coombs and Kennedy each had a base hit and two walks.
Facchini, a right-hander, struck out three and walked two in her three-inning stint. Coombs’ two-out single in the fifth was the only hit off her.
Up next: Both teams will be in action again on Wednesday. Hampden Academy will travel to Skowhegan for a 4 p.m. game while Bangor will entertain Messalonskee of Oakland at 7 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s Class A North semifinal which was won by Messalonskee 4-2.