×

Vikes win on walkoff dropped third strike

  • Mascenic’s Maddie Labrie goes from first to third on a Raven Comtois bunt in the bottom of the ninth inning against Prospect Mountain Saturday. Labrie scored the walkoff run to send Mascenic to the NHIAA DIII Final Four on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Mascenic softball team beat Prospect Mountain 3-2 on Saturday to advance to the NHIAA DIII Final Four. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic softball team celebrates its walkoff victory over Prospect Mountain. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Mascenic softball team beat Prospect Mountain 3-2 on Saturday to advance to the NHIAA DIII Final Four. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic softball team beat Prospect Mountain 3-2 on Saturday to advance to the NHIAA DIII Final Four. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic softball team beat Prospect Mountain 3-2 on Saturday to advance to the NHIAA DIII Final Four. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic softball team beat Prospect Mountain 3-2 on Saturday to advance to the NHIAA DIII Final Four. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic softball team beat Prospect Mountain 3-2 on Saturday to advance to the NHIAA DIII Final Four. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, June 05, 2017 6:33PM

It was all tied up in the bottom of the ninth on the Mascenic softball field, and the Vikings’ hardest-hitting slugger stepped to the plate. Raven Comtois dug in, took a look down the third-base line for the sign and snuck a glance at Maddie Labrie, coiled and ready to burst off of first base the moment the Prospect Mountain pitcher released the ball. Brianna Burley fired to the plate, and Comtois … dropped down a bunt, as Labrie flew for second. Prospect fielded it clean and got Comtois at first, but Labrie had already rounded and was screaming into third. The throw came over, late, and Labrie kicked up an explosion of dirt as she slid in safe, feet-first.

A Comtois bunt was probably the last thing on the mind of the Timberwolves; after all, she’d slammed an RBI double earlier in the game, closing the gap that Mascenic had created in the first inning by throwing the ball around and allowing two runs to score. And, she’d never bunted in two years playing for Mascenic. But after the Vikings had left the bases loaded twice in the late innings – and left the winning run on third in the eighth – Stauffeneker wasn’t taking any chances.

“I told her ‘Raven, there’s nobody in the park who expects you to bunt right now.’” said head coach Dutch Stauffeneker.

After that, it was up to Melonie Ojala to drive in the winning run. Ojala battled through an eight-pitch at-bat before taking a cut on a pitch out of the strike zone. She missed it, but the ball squirted away from the Timberwolves’ catcher and to the backstop. Ojala broke for first and beat it out; Labrie was well on her way to home, where she was met by her jubilant teammates.

“I didn’t care what it took to win that game,” Stauffeneker said. “I don’t care how we won, we won the game. Now we get to go to Plymouth.”

Mascenic will head up to Plymouth State on Wednesday to play Campbell at 5 p.m. for a trip to the finals. Mascenic had their way with Campbell early in the season, winning 12-1, but the Cougars shook off their struggles and finished the year on an 11-game winning streak. It will take total team effort and focus to continue on to the finals.

“It’s about mental toughness, being in the moment, staying in the moment and communicating with each other and just being willing to run to the defense, get dirty, take a ball off the chest, whatever,” Stauffeneker said.