BANGOR, Maine — Seven batters into the game, the Bangor softball team had a fairly good idea what Skowhegan ace Becca McCarty was featuring.
The Indians’ righthander paints the corners well, throws strikes and has some tough offspeed pitches.
But the Rams were able to solve her Wednesday afternoon, as Nicole Stairs went 2-for-3 with three runs batted in and Kate Freudenberger had two more hits, including a run-scoring triple as Bangor avenged its only loss with a 6-1 victory at the high school field.
Junior righty Sam Bedore had yet another solid outing, throwing 89 of her 122 pitches for strikes while allowing the one run on four hits — all singles — while striking out 10 and walking two.
But it was the bats that got it done for coach Don Stanhope’s club this time, in particular the bottom of the order, as 7-8-9 hitters Kim Jordan, Sadie Redman and Freudenberger combined for four hits, an RBI and five runs scored.
“The girls came really ready to hit today, right from the beginning they were putting the bat on the ball,” said Stanhope, whose club picked up a chunk of Heal points and improved to 8-1.
Skowhegan, which defeated Bangor 1-0 on April 22, is also 8-1.
After McCarty fanned four of the first seven Ram batters to start the contest, Redman led off the third with a single. After a strikeout, base hits from Mariah Cassum and Erin Dean loaded the bases and Stairs followed that up by lacing a 1-1 pitch into right to score Redman with the game’s first run.
Even though McCarty wiggled out of that jam, the Rams were certainly zoned in at the plate.
“We knew she was a good pitcher and we just figured that we needed to jump on her quick,” said Stairs. “She’s not all over the place, she [throws] right where we want them.”
Bangor produced two more runs in the third, sparked by Freudenberger’s opposite-field, RBI triple down the right-field line while Cassum singled her in one batter later.
The Rams got another run in the fifth on an RBI single from Bedore while Stairs singled in another run in the sixth with Redman scored on a throwing error after being caught in a rundown between third and home.
”They did some things at the plate which we didn’t adjust to very well,” Skowhegan coach Lee Johnson said.
Bedore was efficient, attacking all points of the strike zone well, and while the Indians generated some solid swings against the Bangor ace, the Rams didn’t make an error.
“I felt pretty good, I mean I felt really confident my defense was going to do its job,” she said.
Skowhegan came back to get its lone run in the top half of the sixth, as Megan Hancock collected her second hit of the afternoon with an RBI single to center.
Unlike in the first meeting between these two teams, the Rams were able to find the holes in the Skowhegan defense.
“We hit well against [McCarthy] down at their place, we just couldn’t find the gaps. Today we just hit the gaps,” Stanhope said.
Cassum went 2-for-4 with an RBI from the leadoff slot for Bangor, which strung together 11 hits.
Hancock was Skowhegan’s lone repeat hitter with her two singles. McCarty compiled nine strikeouts in absorbing the loss.