STONINGTON — Freshman Maddie Mendez hit a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning, lifting Stonington High past East Lyme, 9-8, in the ECC Division I softball tournament quarterfinals Tuesday.
Shea O'Connor, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and Miranda Arruda, who had singled, scored on Mendez's base hit.
"She roped it to center field," Stonington coach Ann-Marie Houle said.
No. 4 Stonington trailed 6-0 after 3½ innings and 6-1 after four. Arruda hit a three-run homer in the fifth to leave the Bears trailing by two, 6-4.
Stonington scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 7.
With one out in the seventh, Arruda (3 for 5, four RBIs) hit a solo homer. Later in the inning, Phoebe Werling's single brought home Maggie Constantine with the tying run. Stonington scored twice in the seventh with two outs.
"They didn't quit," Houle said.
Tori LoPresto and Colette Dreher finished with two hits each.
Cayla Beverly struck out six and pitched all eight innings to earn the win.
No. 5 East Lyme dropped to 10-11.
Stonington next faces the tournament's top seed, NFA, on Wednesday at Griswold at 4 p.m. in the semifinals. NFA had a bye on Tuesday. Griswold and Waterford will meet in the other semifinal at Griswold at 6:30 p.m.
— Keith Kimberlin