With losses in their last three games and five of their last six, the Bangor High School Rams needed a win over Camden Hills of Rockport on Monday night to raise their comfort level when it comes to qualifying for the Class A North softball playoffs.
Bangor entered the game in the eighth and final playoff spot and Camden Hills was a distant ninth but could have made things interesting with a win.
The Rams spotted the Windjammers a 2-0 lead but rallied to earn a 4-2 victory thanks to the Coombs sisters, Taylor and Eva, and junior pitcher Taylor Clark. Bangor is now 5-8 while Camden Hills fell to 3-9.
“It was a very good win. We needed it,” said Bangor senior second baseman Cassidy Ireland, who belted a long run-scoring double in the fourth inning and scored the tying run later in the inning on an Ashley Schultz grounder to shortstop.
Sophomore Eva Coombs drove in her sister with two-out hits in the fourth and sixth innings to break the tie and then provide the Rams with a valuable insurance run.
“It was amazing. I love playing with her,” senior Taylor Coombs said of her sister.
Freshman Maya Stone had supplied the Windjammers with a 2-0 lead with a two-out run-scoring line drive single to left in the second and a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
But the Rams rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead for good.
Emmie Streams started the rally by legging out an infield single on a grounder to second and she stole second before scoring on Ireland’s long double over the left fielder’s head.
Ireland moved to third on a Casey Carter groundout and scored on Schultz’s grounder.
Taylor Coombs then blooped a single into right and scored on her sister’s ground ball double just inside the first base bag.
“It felt good,” said Eva, who said she moved up in the batter’s box in order to have a better chance to hit Stone’s outside pitches.
In the sixth, Taylor Coombs singled sharply up the middle with two outs, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when Eva poked a single into right field.
The first nine Bangor hitters were retired without hitting the ball out of the infield against impressive freshman lefty Stone before Streams opened the fourth with her infield single.
“She was a very good pitcher,” said Taylor Coombs. “We had to adjust to her. Once we started timing her up, we started rolling.”
Clark came on in relief of Raegan Sprague in the third inning with two runners on and nobody out. She uncorked a wild pitch to put runners on second and third but Natalie Bolduc, the runner on third, was tagged out at the plate when she tried to score on another potential wild pitch as catcher Streams threw to Clark, who applied the tag.
“I wasn’t expecting that. That lit a fire under everyone,” said Clark, who struck out the next two hitters to get out of the jam.
Singles by Hannah Leavitt and Violet Libby and Stone’s sacrifice fly accounted for the fourth-inning but Clark allowed just two hits over the final three innings to earn the win.
“The umpire wasn’t calling the inside pitches for strikes so I threw to the outside (part of the plate) and Emmie (Streams) did a real good job framing the pitches. They hit pretty well so I had to rely on everyone in the field (to make plays),” Clark said.
She allowed four hits and one run over five innings with four strikeouts and two walks.
The Coombs sisters had two hits apiece.
Stone had three singles and a sacrifice fly and pitched very well in defeat, allowing just six hits and four runs over six innings with six strikeouts and no walks.
Sierra Laukka had a base hit and drew two walks.
“It was a great game. Both teams played hard,” said Camden Hills coach Josh Mahar. “I was really proud of my girls and the effort they put in. They were focused and engaged from the get-go after a long ride up. It just didn’t turn out the way we would have liked.”
Up next: Camden Hills will host Lincoln Academy of Newcastle on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. and Bangor will visit Skowhegan on Wednesday at 4.