GORHAM — Down 12-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Rams picked up five pretty runs vs. visiting Massabesic on April 18. No, Gorham didn’t come back and win, but they lost on a high note, thanks to big swinging and nimble running by a number of girls.
“We have a young team, and part of it is a confidence issue,” Gorham head coach Renee Whipkey said, asked what took her girls more than six innings to catch fire. “It’s our first time out there; the weather hasn’t been in our favor – we haven’t had much of a preseason. So it took us a little bit of time to hit like we know how we can hit.”
Seven Rams assembled one-hit efforts in the game: Tatyanna Biamby, Kiana Tracey, Morgan Roast, Riley Grant, Ambrosia Moore, Sarah Juskiewicz and Lydia Gaudreau. Those same girls, minus Juskiewicz, also rounded the bases to score a run apiece, while Roast hashed two RBIs and Tracey, Moore and Gaudreau hashed one each. Roast, Moore and Juskiewicz all earned doubles, and Lydia Drew had the team’s only stolen base.
The sides held each other at bay for the first two innings, but then Massabesic woke up – and woke up in a big way, recording two runs in the third, two in the fourth, four in the fifth and four more in the sixth.
“With this league, and especially the beginning of our schedule, we have a lot of tough teams on our lineup,” Whipkey said. “But the thing we want to instill upon our girls is – we just want to compete. If we can compete, you never know what’s going to happen in high school softball.”
That’s 12 Mustang tallies in short order, and Gorham were caught off their guard. The Rams managed just one notch in the same stretch, a notch in the fourth that left them trailing 4-1.
Biamby pitched a full game for Gorham, recording 10 strikeouts.
“As of right now, Taty is our No. 1,” Whipkey said, asked about Biamby’s marathon effort. “At this point, it’s about building stamina, a little bit – again, just with the lack of a preseason. But Taty pitched really well. She’s a competitor, and getting that spirit and getting that fight is important as well.”
Biamby looked dialed-in even as the Mustangs pilfered a dozen runs from her and her defense.
“We need to back her up defensively,” Whipskey said. “That’s an area we can grow in. We have a lot of new girls in new positions. Massabesic did a great job at working the pitcher, as well. There were times where Taty was throwing 12, 13 pitches to a girl.”
The Rams finally woke up in the seventh: Given one final opportunity, they put a quintet more runs on the board. With Gaudreau and Biamby already on base, Tracey lined a single toward Massabesic left fielder Lauren Kiss. That scored Gaudreau for 12-2 and ushered Biamby to second. Roast followed Tracey to the plate and worked the count to 3-1 before flying a double into right and scoring both Biamby and Tracey: 12-4.
Next up: Grant, who lined a ball towards short. The Mustang there, Grace Tutt, erred, allowing Grant to reach first safely and allowing Roast to score. Moore then doubled, sending a fly into centerfield and bringing Grant home again for 12-6.
That, though, is where Gorham’s comeback skidded to a halt. The Rams already had two outs to their name (Molly Murray swinging and Drew looking) and couldn’t absorb another. Alas, Juskiewicz flied out to center and the day concluded.
Whipkey applauded handful of her girls, beginning with Biamby: “Taty did a great job on the mound,” she said. “Morgan did a great job behind the plate; they have a great connection. And offensively, we all started coming around there at the end. My two freshmen – Ambrosia and Riley – both connected well with it. Now we’ve just got to work on seven innings.”
Gorham thus opened the spring at 1-0; the Rams were slated to face off with Portland on Saturday the 20th, but that bout found itself postponed due to weather. Instead, Gorham traveled to Noble on Monday the 22nd.
Adam Birt can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.
Lydia Drew jumps off third for the Rams.
Tatyanna Biamby pitched the entirety of the game for the Rams on Thursday.
Molly Murray connects with a ball vs. Massabesic.