HAMPDEN, Maine — A pair of seniors came to the rescue for the surging Hampden Academy softball team after the Broncos’ 6-0 lead evaporated and turned into an 8-6 advantage for the visiting Bangor High School Rams.
Senior shortstop Madison Steigert doubled home a run in the sixth and scored the tying run on senior catcher Allee Leeman’s two-out single, and Steigert doubled again with two outs in the seventh to score Emma Chute and give the Broncos a 9-8 victory on a frigid, blustery Wednesday night.
The Broncos improved to 7-4 after winning for the sixth time over their last seven contests.
The Rams have suffered six losses over eight games and are now 4-7.
Chute drew a one-out walk in the seventh and, one out later, Steigert belted a double down the right-field line to score the speedy Chute from first.
“I was just trying not to feel the pressure,” Steigert said. “I acted like it was just like any old at-bat and I was doing my thing.”
Her sixth-inning double also was down the right-field line. Steigert said that her sixth-inning double gave her confidence when she stepped to the plate in the seventh.
“I’m super proud of her,” Wellman said of Steigert. “She has been hitting the ball super well all season.”
Charlee Chute started the sixth-inning rally by drawing a walk off Raegan Sprague and Steigert doubled her home.
Taylor Clark came on in relief and got the next two hitters out, but Wellman dropped a base hit into right field to tie it.
Freshman Cat Facchini picked up the win in relief with 4 2/3 innings of two-hit, one-run ball. The run was unearned. She struck out four and walked two.
“She was amazing,” Wellman said.
The Broncos took a 4-0 lead in the first inning on five consecutive two-out hits.
Facchini started the rally with a two-out base hit and Meghan Delahanty doubled her home.
Wellman reached on an infield hit off the third baseman’s glove, Mariah Coon belted a run-scoring double and Callie Small hit a two-run single.
Hampden Academy added a pair of unearned runs in the second on Wellman’s two-out, two-run single.
But Bangor, after stranding five runners in the first two innings, erupted for seven runs in the third inning on four hits, four walks, a hit batter and an error.
Emmie Streams had a long two-run double to center, and Eva Coombs and Cassidy Richardson had RBI singles.
A walk and an infield error produced a fourth-inning run for Bangor.
“This is the first game this year where we hit well from the beginning of the game,” Hampden Academy coach Jaimee Perry said. “We were crushing it.”
She also said that she loved the comeback.
Wellman had three singles and three RBIs for the winners, who earned a 6-5 win earlier this month over Bangor.
Steigert had her two doubles and two RBIs and Small had two singles and two RBIs.
Taylor Coombs tripled and singled for Bangor and Richardson had a pair of singles.
“This was a good game. These are the games you want to be in. They make us better for the playoffs,” Bangor coach Sophia Sciarappa said.
Bangor travels to take on Oxford Hills of South Paris at 11 a.m. Saturday. Hampden Academy will head to Farmington to face Mt. Blue at 4:30 p.m. Monday.