It was what East Lyme High School softball coach Judy Deeb called "a different vibe" Friday night when her team met Waterford for the second time this season after losing the first matchup.
Under the lights. Big crowd.
"It was kind of fun," Deeb said. "Both teams played extremely well."
East Lyme's 2-1 victory in the bottom of the seventh inning against the first-place Lancers was part of history, as well.
The win made Deeb 552-297 in the midst of her 42nd season at East Lyme, tying the state record for all-time wins by a high school softball coach. Retired Hale-Ray coach Lou Milardo was 552-149 in 31 seasons.
Deeb, whose team is 13-2 overall, 7-2 in the Eastern Connecticut Conference Large Division, could break the record as early as 11 this morning when the Vikings are scheduled to play at Ledyard.
The win by East Lyme kept Waterford from clinching the Large Division outright.
The Lancers already clinched at least a share of the title, which will be decided Thursday when the teams complete their division schedules. Waterford plays at home against Fitch and East Lyme at home against Woodstock Academy.
As for Deeb, she was pleased for the most part Friday night because her team, which was 11-10 last year, is playing well.
Erica Hill pitched a one-hitter against Waterford, allowing a game-tying home run to Kate Haff in the top of the seventh inning. Hill struck out 10.
In the bottom of the inning, Morgan Lloyd singled to right with two outs to score Madison Horner from second base. Rounding third, Horner collided with Waterford's third baseman, who was ruled to have interfered with the play, allowing the runner to score safely.
"I'm just happy that we won, happy the girls aren't disappointed, happy that we're playing well, that makes me happier than anything else," said Deeb, the only coach in program history. "It's fun to be with them."
East Lyme took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Kirsten McGinty tripled to right to score Sydney Swanson.
Megan Spellman allowed five hits for Waterford (12-3, 8-1) and struck out nine.