TOWNSEND -- Leominster High is one of the premier softball teams in Central Mass, which presented a big challenge to North Middlesex Regional.
After getting down by a double digit margin at the mid way point of the game, the Patriots dug deep and kept fighting until the final pitch, scraping together a pair of runs in a 13-2 loss at home.
North Middlesex drops to 1-9 with the defeat, while Leominster improves to 9-3, just one win shy of qualifying for the postseason.
"It was good to see the team stay up after we got behind so quick in the game," North Middlesex head coach Rebecca Jackson said. "Giving up is something that this team doesn't do.
We've lost some games by a few runs, but they don't give up and battle until the end."
North Middlesex's Zaylie Zufelt led the stat sheet for the Patriots, connecting on two hits in the game, which led to both of the team's runs.
"Zufelt is a sophomore and had two hits yesterday as well," Jackson said. "She definitely has some talent, which is exciting to see for the future.
She's an aggressive base runner and versatile in the field as well."
Leominster was without a handful of seniors and starters in the game, due to testing and other commitments. Blue Devil junior Meaghan Spear did an effective job in her first career varsity start in the circle, pitching a complete game and only allowing three hits, two walks, and two runs on the day.
To add to her landmark day, she also hit 4-for-4 batting out of the eight spot, and recorded two RBI.
It was a particularly potent day for the bottom of half of the Blue Devils' lineup, as No. 7 hitter Gianna DelGiudice connected on two hits, and No. 9 hitter Sarah Khallady reached on three walks.
A walk and double by Leominster's Annie Thomas (2-for-3, reached base five times) put two on with two outs to start the game, then another walk loaded the bases.
Hannah Burns (2-for-3, 3 RBI) connected on a flare to centerfield which put Leominster's first two runs on the board. North Middlesex then went back on the offensive in the sixth inning.
Jackie Potvin reached on an infield hit, then Zufelt singled and drove her in on a defensive error, making the lead single digits again.