January 16, 2018
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Camden Hills’ Buckheit shuts down Nokomis

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff

ROCKPORT — Camden Hills has certainly had a longstanding athletic tradition, with success on the basketball court year in and year out.

That prowess may finally be translating onto the softball diamond this spring, as the Windjammers are sailing toward their first postseason berth in more than a decade.

Coach Marty Messer’s club took another step in achieving that goal Friday afternoon, as Hayley Buckheit pitched a two-hitter while the ’Jammers pounded out 12 hits en route to a 10-0 KVAC victory over Nokomis of Newport.

“We’re pretty confident about being able to make it this year with the team that we have,” said Buckheit, who had 10 strikeouts and four walks.

That confidence is certainly apparent, as the 6-3 Windjammers have already improved on last spring’s four-win campaign, and they earned some valuable Heal points from the 5-4 Warriors in the process.

“It’s a good win because I know this Nokomis team is going to have a lot of wins, we’re going to get points off it,” said Messer.

Buckheit ran into some trouble in the top of the first, as the Warriors’ Ashley Griffith led off with a bunt single and eventually moved to third, but she was gunned down at the plate trying to score on a passed ball.

Catcher Olivia Hamalainen gave the ’Jammers a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the inning with a mammoth home run to center, and Buckheit was able to work out of a first-and-third situation in the top of the second.

She settled in after that, retiring 10 straight batters at one point and keeping the Warriors off balance with an array of fastballs, curveballs and screwballs, particularly on the corners, taking advantage of a wide strike zone.

“It helps with my curves and screws when (the umpire’s) able to give me the pitches a little bit off,” said Buckheit.

Buckheit was certainly backed by a strong offensive output, and she contributed largely to it with two singles, an RBI  double and a run scored, as four Windjammers enjoyed multi-hit games.

“Everyone’s hitting really well lately and that’s really boosting our confidence,” said Hamalainen.

Amy Haynes drove in Camden’s second run with an RBI groundout int he third after Abby White had singled and moved to third on an error.

Shantel Gibson and Amy Haynes drove in runs with fourth-inning singles, and Heather Eaton added an RBI double in the fifth and two-run single in the sixth.

“That’s probably one of the best hitting games we’ve had,” Messer said.

Abby White went 3-for-4 from the leadoff spot with three singles and two runs, while Sarah Steele had two singles and two runs and Eaton two hits, three RBIs and a run.

The Windjammers entered Friday’s play having lost two tough games to Oak Hill of Sabattus and Lincoln Academy of Newcastle, but this clearly isn’t the same club that won just four games in 2010.

“We were a little crushed after the (Oak Hill) game,” said Buckheit, “but now that we’ve come out with this game and (Nokomis) was worth a lot of points, I think we are all pretty happy.”

Nokomis didn’t get its other hit until the seventh inning on Danielle George’s single to left.

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