BUCKSPORT — Mindy Pye has been in mired in an offensive slump, and the Bucksport softball team needed a lift after struggling with the bats in a 2-1 loss to Old Town on Friday.
The Golden Bucks’ junior provided a big boost as she slammed two home runs and knocked in five runs as coach Mike Carrier’s club racked up 40 runs in a doubleheader sweep of Presque Isle at Wardwell Field Monday.
Bucksport won the first game 24-1 and the second game 16-2, with both contests ending in five innings due to the 12-run mercy rule.
The Bucks improve to 13-2 with a rematch against Old Town slated for Tuesday, and a win there could help them lock up the No. 2 seed in Eastern Maine Class B.
Presque Isle is now 3-12.
Pye did most of her damage in the first game, slamming a solo home run to left-center in the third and a three-run blast to left in the fourth that nearly hit the scoreboard, good for the first multi-home run game of her career.
“The last time I hit a home run was my freshman year,” Pye said. “I can’t hit slow pitchers but today I could.”
The velocity of Presque Isle’s pitchers don’t compare to that of the league’s aces such as Mattanawcook’s Tayla Trask or Deb Colpitts of Hermon, so the Bucks had to make the necessary adjustments at the plate.
“It made a big difference,” said Carrier, who instructed his hitters to move up toward the front of the batters’ box. “The way the ball is coming in, if they move up in the box, they hit (it) still on the way up.”
Bucksport scored five times in the first and second innings and seven runs apiece in the third and fourth.
“The slower pitching is something we struggle with sometimes, but today we proved that we can make adjustments and get it done,” said Carrier.
Shelby Redman had two hits, including a double, an RBI and three runs in the opener for the Bucks; Sadie Wight singled three times, drove in two runs and scored four more while Jen Wight knocked in two runs with a single.
Bailey Blair, who recently returned from a foot injury suffered in a preseason game against Bangor, collected three hits and three RBIs.
Sophomore Cassidy Adams was solid in the circle, giving up one unearned run on three hits while striking out five.
“I think she is very confident in her pitching and she wasn’t nervous or anything,” Pye said.
Carly Bell singled and scored Presque Isle’s lone run, and Jess Theriault and Liza Buck added base hits.
In the second game, Bucksport ace Abby Yeo struck out five while allowing two runs — one earned — on two hits. She struck out five.
Once again, the Bucks would put it away early, scoring 11 times in the first two innings with Jen Wight driving in three of the runs. Blair had the contest’s lone extra-base hit with an opposite-field double, and Sadie Wight knocked in a run with a single.
Yeo pitched around two errors in the third as the Wildcats scored their two runs, as Bell singled and scored on an error and Jess Theriault drove in a run with a groundout.
“The kids are doing a great job, we’re getting some bad hops here and there,” Carrier said. “Physical errors happen.”