WATERVILLE, Maine – The Thomas College softball team earned a 4-3 walk-off win in extra innings over UMaine-Farmington in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Tournament Game 1 on Friday morning.
The Beavers held the lead early with Kayleigh Oberg and Leah Stevens scoring on an error to make it 2-0. The Terriers threatened in the bottom of the inning but stranded runners at the corners as UMF maintained their lead.
Both teams' bats went cold over the next three and a half innings until Thomas evened things up in the bottom of the fifth. Lauren Guppy (New Sharon, Maine) drove in the first Thomas run with a double down the left field line, then Bailey Dunphy (North Anson, Maine) drove her in with a triple that tied the game 2-2.
UMF got one run right back in the top of the sixth, with an Alyssa Dillan double bringing Justice Merrill in to score and give the Beavers back the lead at 3-2. After a scoreless bottom of the sixth and top of the seventh, the Terriers were down to their final out with a runner on second when Guppy hit a bloop single to right field that dropped between three fielders and forced extra innings.
With the international tiebreaker rule putting a runner on second for UMF to start the eighth, the Beavers bunted the runner over to third, but were unable to bring her home as the Terriers took over with a chance to win in the bottom of the eighth. After successfully moving the runner over, followed by a groundout to it two outs with a runner on third, Kayla Bess (Madison, Maine) singled up the middle for the walk-off hit to give Thomas the 4-3 victory.
Kelsey Currier (Cumberland, Maine) earned the win in relief for Thomas, pitching four innings and allowing a run on one hit with five strikeouts. She took over for the starter, Katlyn Coulter (Jefferson, N.H.) who allowed two unearned runs and a hit in four innings.
Brianna McGrath threw 7.2 innings in the loss, allowing three earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.
Thomas will take on No. 2 Husson in Game 4 of the NAC Tournament with a trip to the final day on the line. First pitch is set for 3:00 PM at Colby College. A complete schedule, with updates following Friday's games, is below.
Friday, May 3
Game 1: No. 1 Thomas 4, No. 4 UMF 3 (8 Innings)
Game 2: No. 2 Husson 9, No. 3 UMPI 6
Saturday, May 4
Game 3: No. 4 UMF vs. No. 3 UMPI - 12:30 PM
Game 4: No. 1 Thomas vs. No. 2 Husson - 3:00 PM
Game 5: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Loser - 5:30 PM
Sunday, May 5
Game 6: Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner - 11:00 AM
Game 7: Game 6 Winner vs. Game 6 Loser (if necessary) - 1:30 PM