BREWER, Maine — Big games call for big performances, but the Bucksport softball team made the Class C championship game against Calais look like just another game.
The Golden Bucks defeated Calais 4-0 at Coffin Field Tuesday night, capturing their second straight Eastern Maine title, improving to a perfect 19-0, and handing the Blue Devils their first loss of the season.
Bucksport advanced to Saturday’s 11 a.m. state final at St. Joseph’s College in Standish against Western Maine champion Dirigo of Dixfield.
The focus and ability to go out and play their own game is something Bucksport coach Michael Carrier felt was key for his team.
“They pretty much know what to do and basically do it themselves,” said Carrier. “They knew what to expect and they were ready.”
The Bucks were paced by the continued success of starter Cassidy Adams, along with solid contributions from the bottom of the order.
The righthanded Adams, who has started every game this season, scattered six hits and struck out seven en route to the shutout. The junior stepped out on the mound determined, holding a stoic expression from the first pitch to the last.
“I was a little nervous when I had people on base, but I kept my composure,” Adams said. “Definitely, I was in the zone today.”
Three of Bucksport’s four runs came in the second inning when the Bucks were able to capitalize on two errors.
After back-to-back singles by Deb Wight and Kacie Hurd, the Bucks picked up their first run when Wight came around on a throwing error. Hurd then scored the second run, barely beating out the throw from first base after an Alanna Davis groundout. Brianna Bires capped the inning off with an RBI single.
Bucksport’s Sadie Wight finished the scoring with an RBI single in the fifth.
Shelby Redman and Bailey Blair also had singles for Bucksport.
The timely hitting of the bottom of the order is something Carrier has come to expect.
“We can hit one through nine,” he said. “If somebody doesn’t happen to be doing well one day, then the rest of them pick up.”
The Bucks finished with just six hits, but used a combination of speed and contact hitting to pick up their runs. While the bats were in the spotlight, the defense proved to pack a punch as well, according to Carrier and Adams.
“Our defense has played well all year long,” Carrier said, adding the errors have been few and far between.
“My defense was great and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them getting everything behind me,” Adams added.
From the beginning of the year, Adams had faith in her team’s ability to get to this point and win the title, but wasn’t willing to go all in with opponents like Calais in front of her team.
“We were hoping after dropping down from Class B, but we knew we couldn’t overlook anybody,” said Adams.
Calais (18-1) got a hit in six of the seven innings, but were unable to capitalize as only one runner got past second base. The Blue Devils were limited in their attempts at playing small ball and were unable to find the holes in the Bucksport defense.
“They played good defense,” said coach Greg Smith. “Even when we had some good, hard hits, they just seemed to make the plays.”
Meaghan Cavanaugh and Allison Hill each contributed two singles for Calais, while Olivia Smith added a double.
Smith, praising his team for a tremendous season, expects his team to learn from this game and come back as a more experienced group next season.
“Take away that one bad inning and it’s a 1-0 ball game,” he said. “Just being here and that experience, hopefully they will come in hungry and we will be back next year.”