BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor High School softball team picked up some valuable Heal points Friday as sophomore right-hander Alexis Stanhope tossed a three-hitter and junior designated hitter Carly Cosgrove drove in four runs with a triple, two singles and a bases-loaded walk to lead the Rams to a six-inning 12-0 victory over Oxford Hills of South Paris.
Bangor, which began the day second in the Eastern Maine Class A standings, improved to 11-2 while fifth-place Oxford Hills fell to 8-4.
Stanhope struck out five, walked one and hit a batter while throwing 86 pitches, 58 for strikes.
She retired nine in a row in one stretch and registered nine outs on fly balls.
“My curveball and my changeup started working a little bit and we’ve really worked hard on my spins and it paid off,” said Stanhope who also threw a screwball and a rise.
Stanhope was pleased with her control.
“We’ve been working really hard to eliminate the walks and get first-pitch strikes,” said Stanhope who got 13 first-pitch strikes on the 23 hitters she faced.
Oxford Hills senior second baseman Ashley West said she and her teammates struggled with the velocity differential between Stanhope and hard-throwing Cony High of Augusta pitcher Sonja Morse, who struck out 15 in a 9-2 win over the Vikings on Wednesday.
“It’s hard going from facing a real fast pitcher to someone who is a lot slower. Maybe that was one of our problems. We were really ahead of the ball,” said West.
“She did a great job on the mound,” said Oxford Hills coach Cindy Goddard. “She had us off-balance. We hit a lot of pop flies. We weren’t able to hit anything with power.”
The Rams capitalized on seven Oxford Hills errors as only one run off Crystal West, Ashley’s sister, was earned. West pitched a complete game.
Bangor played errorless ball behind Stanhope.
Bangor scored a pair of runs in the second and three more in the third to build a 5-0 lead.
Anna Morris reached on an infield throwing error to open the second and Cosgrove dropped a single into left center with the speedy Morris racing to third. Cosgrove continued on to second.
Jade Baumrind’s bunt scored Morris and Baumrind eventually scored when the Vikings tried unsuccessfully to throw out Cailie Mercier at second after Mercier grounded into a fielder’s choice.
Bangor scored its third-inning runs after the first two hitters were retired.
Stanhope blooped an infield hit between third base and shortstop, taking advantage of the infielders being drawn in expecting her to slap the ball.
June Candland belted a long double over center fielder Abby Bernier’s head.
Stanhope scored on a dropped popup and Cosgrove followed with a sharp two-run single down the line off third baseman Jordyn Sanborn’s glove.
Bangor added five more in the fifth on pinch-hitter Emily Reilly’s leadoff single, two walks, three errors and Jo Jo Colpritt’s RBI single.
The Rams ended the game with the 12-run mercy rule in the sixth when Candland singled, Cosgrove hit a run-scoring triple to right and scored on an error.
Candland complemented Cosgrove with a double and a single.
“It felt good,” said Cosgrove about her day. “I just tried to stay within myself. I relaxed up there. I wanted to bring the runners in. I didn’t want to leave people on base. I wanted to make contact.”
Cosgrove added that “we played really well today.”
“Carly is the heart and soul of our team,” said Bangor coach Don Stanhope.
“We had been off a little bit but we came out ready today,” said Candland.
Oxford Hills received singles from the West sisters, Ashley and Crystal, and another from Anna Winslow.
“Bangor played a real good game,” said Goddard. “They definitely put pressure on us and they really executed. We weren’t our sharpest.”