May 21, 2018
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Power surge fuels Ellsworth softball team past John Bapst

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff

BANGOR — Cristin Wright has been around the game of softball since she was a little girl. She has never seen a power surge like the one her Ellsworth Eagles displayed Wednesday.

Wright and teammate Ashley Smith combined for three home runs and seven runs batted in to power coach Rick Roberts’ club to an 8-1 Class B victory over John Bapst at Union Street Field.

“I’ve never seen three home runs in one game, so it’s very unique,” said Wright, who had two hits, including a third-inning solo blast, and scored three runs. “We came here ready to play today and we knew this was a big game for us.”

Ellsworth, which entered Wednesday’s play as the No. 8 team in Class B, improved to 4-6 while John Bapst fell to 2-6.

The Eagles scored twice in the first on Smith’s RBI double, and she scored while Ashlee Leighton’s infield popup landed just to the left of the pitching circle.

Wright extended Ellsworth’s lead in the third with a shot to left that cleared the 200-foot fence by plenty.

“It was right down the middle of the plate,” Wright said. “I hit it and the feeling was I pretty much knew it was gone.”

After John Bapst scored in the home half of the fourth to make it 3-1, Smith gave the Eagles some breathing room again with a three-run shot to center. She capped the scoring with a two-run blast to left-center in the sixth.

“Ashley came up and got a good pitch to hit and it made it 6-1 and that really, really, really helped us,” said Roberts.

That provided plenty of support for freshman pitcher Megan Hunt, who allowed one run on four hits while striking out four.

She did a solid job of keeping the ball down, forcing the Crusaders into seven ground-ball outs.

“She has been pitching at coach Rick’s clinics for a while and she’s very consistent,” said Wright. “She hits her target and she rarely misses.”

Hunt’s only major hiccup came in the fourth, when Riley Boyle singled, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dayna Detour and third on a passed ball. Abby Marvin drove her in with a single.

Hunt allowed just one hit the rest of the game.

“She’s not overpowering but she hits her spots really, really, really well,” said Roberts. “We like to keep her ahead in the count.”

Ellsworth, which had struggled offensively early in the year, enjoyed arguably its best hitting performance of the spring. Smith had six RBIs and three runs while Annika Firestone added two singles and a run scored.

“We started our season a little rough, swinging at stuff over our head,” Roberts said. “John Bapst is a good team, they’re a good team and Laura Jordan’s tough. She’s always pitched us tough.”

Kennedy Gilmore and Brandi Pierce added singles for John Bapst while Jordan compiled eight strikeouts in absorbing the loss.

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