ACTON — This one had weirdness built into it from the get-go.
Acton-Boxborough’s first batter, Sara Keagy, struck out, but the ball ended up going all the way to the backstop, and Keagy ended up on first base. The Colonials parlayed that stroke of luck into a two-run opening-inning rally that pretty much set the tone for the afternoon in a 10-1 MIAA Division 1 softball first-round win over Lynn Classical.
The No. 2 Colonials play Newton North Monday in the quarterfinals. The loss ends the season for the Rams.
“We knew they (A-B) were going to hit, and that they were going to score runs,” said Classical coach Erica Richards. “Maybe if we could have punched a few runs in earlier, things might have been different.”
Truth be told, it was one of those games in which the Rams couldn’t buy a break. For example, in the third inning Classical pitcher Tori Adams had Keagy struck out again, except that, similar to the first inning, the ball took a crazy bounce back into fair territory and toward the third-base line. Catcher Meghan Leavitt lost it momentarily, and it was just long enough for Keagy to reach base safely again. And — just as in the first inning — she ended up scoring a run that made the score 3-0.
As Richards noted, the game wasn’t a rout. It was more a steady drip-drip-drip of some kind of water torture, and it didn’t get out of hand totally until the bottom of the sixth, when the Colonials scored four runs.
“We were in it,” said Richards. “It may look bad, but it really wasn’t.”
However, Classical had baserunners in both the first and second innings, but couldn’t bring them across. In the first, with one out, Becca Walker got an infield hit, but was caught stealing with two out and Leavitt at bat.
Then, in the second, Leavitt led off with a single and Mary Collins, her courtesy runner, was sacrificed to second and took third on an error. But she got no farther, as A-B’s Lauren Meinhold got the final two outs.
Classical had a shot in the fourth to put some pressure on Meinhold and the Colonials. Walker led off with her second hit of the day — a double to right-center. Kayla Morrell followed with a ground-rule double that scored Walker to make the score 3-1, and the Rams were set up beautifully to get back in the game, especially after Leavitt’s fly ball that backed right fielder Nikita Iyer all the way to the fence got Morrell to third with one out.
However, Meinhold got the final two outs to get out of the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Colonials scored two more runs, and Adams gave way to freshman Brooke Warren. Adams, however, would return as pitcher in the bottom of the sixth so she could end her illustrious career with the Rams in the circle.
“We’re really going to miss her,” said Richards of the class valedictorian. “Especially her leadership. Last year, she pitched every inning of every game, and we won the league. How could I ever forget that?”
A home run by catcher Julie MacMillan in the sixth made the score 6-1, and Meinhold got two of her four RBI in the game (to go along with three hits) in the sixth as the Colonials put the game away.
“We had a lot of expectations put on us this year,” said Richards. “And we didn’t win as many games, but it was a very good season. I can’t think of one day where anybody on the team acted as if she didn’t want to be here.
“It was a great group of kids.”
The Rams bid adieu to Adams, Leavitt (whose final at-bat was a scorching line drive that Meinhold managed to snag while turning away) and Johnna Calder (who got a single in her final at-bat to end on a high note).