The Colchester softball team fell in heart-breaking fashion last week during one of the most exciting games of the season — an eight-inning, two-day affair against Essex in the state semifinals.

Lightning ended a frenzied day one of play in the top of the seventh, the score tied at 5. The Lakers wasted no time when play resumed the next day, jumping out to a one-run lead heading into the bottom of the frame.

Yet the Hornets fought back via an Allie Rutz sac-fly to send the game into the eighth, setting up a dramatic two-run shot by Makenna Thorne, her second of the game, thrusting Essex into the finals. There, they defeated Mt. Anthony 4-2 on Monday to win the title.

Despite the loss, Colchester head coach Courtney Boetsma was proud of her team’s performance.

“We had put ourselves in a position we wanted to be in. Their hard work paid off; we competed with a really tough team in the state and that’s all you can ask for in a game like that,” she said.

The Lakers finished the season an impressive 17-4; two of those losses came at the hands of the eventual champion Hornets. Both times, the Lakers were within mere outs of capturing the win.

Boetsma praised her team for its hardworking mentality, “coming in day in and day out to perform to the best of their ability and do everything that I ask,” she said.

She also took a moment to thank her four seniors — Taylor Losier, Savanah Goodreau, Suleika Torres and Danielle Whitham — for their effort and leadership.

“They did a terrific job for me this season and all three years I’ve coached them. They’re going to be greatly missed,” Boetsma said.