Mackenzie Dyer of the Mount Desert Island High School softball team swings at a pitch during the fifth inning of a game against Ellsworth on May 7 in Bar Harbor. Dyer had two doubles and five RBIs, as the Trojans surged to a 7-3 win over the Eagles. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

Dyer’s big game propels softball past Ellsworth



BAR HARBOR — Mackenzie Dyer wasn’t 100 percent sure if she wanted to play softball again in 2018. A phone call earlier this year convinced her to give it a shot.

A few weeks before tryouts were set to begin, the Mount Desert Island High School junior got a call from one of her best friends, Lily Cook. Although Dyer was on the fence about playing after doing so at the junior varsity level as a freshman and making varsity as a sophomore, she listened as Cook, the Trojans’ starting catcher last year, begged her to come out for the team.

Ellsworth’s Sara Shea slides into second base as MDI’s Maddie Thornton tries to field the throw during the first inning of a high school softball game May 7 in Bar Harbor. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

“She called me and said, ‘Come on, you’ve got to do this for me,’” Dyer said. “I decided to give it another chance, and I’m glad I did.”

After Monday night’s game, Dyer’s teammates are happy she did, too. Thanks to her big bat, the Trojans were able to produce their best offensive output in more than a week — and earn a rivalry victory in the process.

Dyer’s five RBIs highlighted MDI’s 7-3 win over Ellsworth at home on Monday. Her two base hits both came at clutch times for the Trojans, who snapped a three-game losing streak with the victory.

Ellsworth opened the scoring in the top of the first inning when Hannah Sargent’s RBI groundout scored Sara Shea to give the Eagles a one-run lead. MDI, though, took a one-run lead of its own in the bottom of the inning when Dyer brought home a pair of runs with a double to center field.

Ellsworth tied the game 2-2 in the fourth inning and regained the lead in the fifth when Ellie Clarke’s sacrifice bunt scored Sargent from third base.

Yet the Eagles’ lead was once again short-lived, as Dyer cleared the bases with her second double of the night to give MDI a 5-3 advantage.

“We had bases loaded, and I knew it was the chance to get some runs for us,” Dyer said. “It looked like a good pitch, and I just took my opportunity.”

MDI would extend its lead to 7-3 later in the inning on RBI base hits by Ruby Brown and Hannah Hanscom. Lindsey McEachern kept Ellsworth scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings, and the Trojans walked away with the victory.

McEachern threw a complete game with five strikeouts, two earned runs and four hits allowed. The Trojans had nine hits as a team and left just five runners on base.

“This was a big win for us,” MDI Head Coach Jamey Lewis said. “We were able to put a bunch of consecutive hits together up and down the lineup, and we went out and played good defense in the field.”

For Lewis, that defensive effort was the biggest takeaway from the win. The Trojans committed only two errors in the field, a significant improvement from previous games.

“We haven’t been playing really well in the field lately, but tonight was different,” Lewis said. “They really played good, solid defense today, and I told them that’s what would help them win games.”

Coming into the game, the Trojans were ready to end their losing streak against just about any opponent. Yet the fact that they did so in a rivalry game was certainly an added bonus.

“It always gives us a boost [when we play Ellsworth],” Dyer said. “It’s one of the biggest games when we go up against each other in every sport, and we came out fired up and ready to play.”

MDI 31 – WA 0

MDI demolished Washington Academy 31-0 on the road Tuesday to improve to 4-3 on the season.

Ten different players recorded hits for the Trojans, which had 25 as a team. Senior Maddie Thornton led the way with five hits, five runs scored and nine RBIs at the plate, and McEachern and Hannah Chamberlain had three hits apiece.

Emily York pitched all five innings of the mercy rule-shortened game for MDI. York allowed just one walk and two hits and also had two hits, two RBIs and four runs scored offensively.

MDI was scheduled to face George Stevens Academy (1-5) on Wednesday. The team is scheduled to play its fourth game in as many days when it hosts Foxcroft today, Thursday, May 10, at 4:30 p.m. The Trojans also will host John Bapst on Saturday, May 12, at noon and play a road game against Belfast on Tuesday, May 15, at 4 p.m.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated Mackenzie Dyer’s current class listing at MDI High School. Dyer is a junior this season and was a sophomore in 2017.

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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