BUCKSPORT, Maine — The Bucksport High softball team took advantage of five Orono errors and held off the Red Riots for a 3-1 Eastern Maine Class C victory Wednesday afternoon at the Bucksport High School field.
The Golden Bucks, now 11-0 and the top-ranked team in the Eastern Maine Class C Heal points, turned three Orono errors in the second inning into their first run.
Cassidy Adam reached first when her popup down the left field line was dropped. Courtesy runner Tyler Dupont advanced to third when the throw to first on Andie Lawford’s infield grounder sailed past first base. Dupont scored on a second infield error.
In the third inning, Adams reached on a second dropped fly ball in the outfield and Dupont scored from first on an overthrow of first base on Kaylee Grindle’s infield dribbler. Grindle raced all the way to third on that error and scored on Bree Bires’ infield sacrifice.
Orono coach Kristen Espling agreed that her team “made a couple of miscues,” but she still felt they were decent defensively, keeping the Bucks in check.
“Defensively, we did our job. I’m very satisfied,” said Espling. “I’m optimistic for this team because we’ll probably meet them for a third time this year.”
Bucksport coach Mike Carrier agreed with Espling.
“Orono is a good team,” he said. “They’ll be right there in the playoffs.”
Carrier would have liked to see his Golden Bucks capitalize more on their opportunities to open some early breathing space against the Red Riots’
“We left so many people on base,” said Carrier. “We had bases loaded and nobody out in the first and didn’t score. That’s a coach’s nightmare.”
Nearly the same thing happened in the second when they loaded the bases with two outs but couldn’t score.
Carrier was happy to see that what few runs the Bucks did get, Adams made sure they were enough.
“Cassidy is one of the best around,” said Carrier. “She will keep us in every game.”
Adams posted 11 strikeouts, giving her 140 for the season, and one walk (her third of the year) and allowed only three hits, none before the sixth inning.
The Red Riots (9-3) got one run back in the top of the seventh and threatened more.
Chloe Douglas’ one-out single gave Orono its second baserunner of the game, and she moved to second when cleanup hitter Katie Smith walked on four pitches.
Victoria Goodwin’s double to the right field fence plated Douglas, but a nice grab of a soft popup behind second base by Bucks shortstop Deb Wight nearly ended in a double play.
Smith was caught off guard and off third base when Wight made the catch. Smith was able to scramble back a split-second ahead of the throw from catcher Alanna Davis, who had taken a throw from Wight to stop Smith. Smith hadn’t tagged up, though, and had to race back to third instead of scoring.
A routine groundout to third ended the Riots’ last chance.
“We got off to a slow start offensively,” said Espling. “But having a rally at the end is better than none at all.”
Orono pitcher Jill Woodward also threw a good game. She struck out just two, but only walked one and gave up four hits. Three of them were bunt singles to lead off the bottom of the first, but two infield popups sandwiched around a strikeout kept the Golden Bucks from scoring.
“Eleven of our outs were fly balls,” said Carrier, and he credited Woodward for that.
“She throws that high fastball and we couldn’t lay off it,” he said. “And they couldn’t lay off [Adam’s riser] either.
“It looks like a good pitch when its coming in, but it’s up here [hand by his nose] when it crosses the plate.”
Carrier thought it was good for his team to experience a tight game, especially with the playoffs looming in a couple of weeks.
“We play tough competition from now on,” he said.