BANGOR — Offensive struggles had been a cause for concern for the Old Town softball team during a three-game losing streak.
But the Coyotes overcame those woes and an hour-long rain delay Saturday when Ashley England’s RBI single in the sixth inning gave Old Town the lead for good en route to a 6-5 win over John Bapst at the Union Street Field.
Old Town, which had been shut out by Hermon in its most recent game on Tuesday, improves to 2-3 while John Bapst falls to 1-3.
The game was delayed for one hour, five minutes by a thunderstorm in the top of the second inning.
Even though the Coyotes never trailed after a three-run uprising in the top of the third, John Bapst kept fighting back, forging a 4-4 tie with two fourth-inning runs.
England, who had been hitless prior to her sixth-inning at-bat, came through with two outs, lining a 1-0 pitch into left to score Kelsey Hesseltine from second.
“(Bapst ace Laura Jordan’s) first pitch is always a strike, so when she pitched that first one high I knew that next one was going to be a strike,” England said, “so I just kept my head on my shoulders and swung away.”
Old Town picked up what proved to be a valuable insurance run in the seventh, as McKayla Gastia worked a two-out walk on a full count and eventually scored on an error on a Micayla Hussey bunt.
John Bapst grabbed a run in its half of the seventh thanks to a leadoff double by Sierra Pierce and Riley Boyle’s RBI single, but the Coyotes managed to get out of it.
It was certainly a game played in adverse conditions, as dark skies hovered over the field through the early innings, but Old Town managed to stay focused.
“I think we were definitely expecting to go home, but when we got off the bus we just kept our heads in the game,” said England.
“You just have to tell yourself that even if you have a game you to just keep focused the whole time,” said senior first baseman Annie Cashon.
The Crusaders grabbed two first-inning runs courtesy of a Katie Hammond base hit to left, while Old Town managed to get one back in the second, with Emily Trembly doubling down the left field line and scoring on Hesseltine’s fielder’s choice bunt.
Trembley would spark the Coyotes’ three-run rally in the third with an RBI double, and she fueled Old Town’s eight-hit attack with two doubles while Hussey had three singles, all on bunts.
“We’ve really been struggling on our hitting lately, and in practice we’ve been focusing on that a lot,” said England.
Bapst scored twice more in the fourth to tie it back up on consecutive RBI singles by sisters Brandi and Sierra Pierce, and while coach Shannon Whiting’s club swung the bats well, the Crusaders just came up a run shy.
“It was a great game, both teams were aggressive,” Whiting said. “We (hit the ball well) throughout the lineup, which was nice. Good things will happen.”
Sierra Pierce was John Bapst’s lone repeat hitter with a double, single, RBI and run scored.