BUCKSPORT — With postseason play fast approaching, the Bucksport softball team is looking like a team ready to contend for an Eastern Maine Class B championship.
Coach Mike Carrier’s Golden Bucks continued their torrid season-ending pace Wednes-day afternoon as Bailey Blair drove in four runs on a triple and a double to spark a 13-6 victory over Old Town at Wardwell Field.
The Golden Bucks (12-4) closed the regular season having won eight of their last nine games, averaging a robust 7.3 runs per contest, and will likely enter the Class B playoffs as the No. 3 seed.
Old Town, which caps its regular season 11-5, appears to be destined for the No. 5 seed and will open tournament play on the road.
Coach Lester Cowan’s club was a bit short-handed, as he kept pitcher Hannah Morin out since her right knee was bothering her.
“Her knee’s still a little bit [sore] right now,” he said. “We have a week off, try to get it a little bit healthy.”
After spotting Old Town a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, the Golden Bucks got three back — all on bases-loaded walks — in the bottom half, and Bucksport never trailed again after Blair ripped an opposite-field triple to right in the sec-ond.
She added a bases-clearing double to center in the third, which sparked a four-run uprising that put the game out of reach.
“I think they were mostly fastballs,” said Blair, who took advantage of plate patience as the Bucks worked 11 walks.
“I think it’s good to be patient and just wait and get on base anyway,” Blair added.
Bucksport avenged a 6-2 loss to Old Town, which left the Bucks at 4-3 at the time, but all facets of their game look solid heading into the playoffs.
“This was like the most important game to us out of all of them,” said senior designated hitter Sarah Sutherland, one of four Bucks’ seniors. “We haven’t played our best ball all year, but today we really pulled it together and hit the crap out of the ball.”
Bucksport leadoff hitter Mindy Pye scored four runs while racking up three hits, including a two-run double in the fourth while Sadie Wight added an RBI base hit.
“We have a lot of leadership, and every single player is ready to pick everybody up,” senior outfielder Meagan Harriman said. “When someone’s down we just help each other and it helps us bring the mood back up.”
Especially since this was essentially a play-off game with positioning on the line. “We’re playing the rest of the games like playoff games,” senior right fielder Catie Denning said.
With Old Town’s pitchers struggling to find the strike zone, the Bucks’ hitters feasted on fastballs down the middle and inside.
“You’ve just always got to focus on the ball and watch it in and if it’s a strike, go for it,” third baseman Rochelle Pelletier said.
Old Town, which was led by Amy Singer’s 3-for-3, three-RBI performance with Emily Trembley contributing an RBI double, hit the ball well also with 10 hits, and kept swinging even as Bucksport kept piling up runs.
“One thing about these girls is they battle, that’s the good thing to see,” Cowan said, “and we’re in the playoffs, and that was our goal, and now we take it one game at a time.”