|Caribou High School||Old Town High School|
OLD TOWN, Maine — Emily Staples had a busy afternoon.
The senior righthander from Caribou High School threw 206 pitches, including 142 strikes, and didn’t allow an earned run to lead the Vikings to an Eastern Maine Class B softball sweep of Old Town, 2-1 in eight innings and 4-0.
On a warm, blustery afternoon, the slender Staples threw a five-hitter in the opener and a three-hitter in the nightcap as Caribou improved to 13-2 and extended its winning streak to seven games.
Old Town, which had won five of its previous six, fell to 11-4.
The heat didn’t seem to bother Staples.
“I think I do better in the heat, actually. It revives me, I guess,” said Staples.
In the nightcap, Staples struck out eight and walked four while allowing just three singles.
Her mates supported her by playing errorless ball and making several nice plays.
She was also staked to a 3-0 lead early as her mates pushed across a run in the second and two more in the third.
The Vikes added an insurance run in the seventh.
Rebecca McDougal scored what proved to be the winning run in the second when she led off the inning with a long triple over center fielder Meagan Cousins’ head and scored on Courtney Burby’s one-out grounder to second.
In the third, Kelsie Espling hit a lead-off double in the right-center field gap, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Victoria Bouchard’s base hit. Bouchard moved to second on a groundout, went to third on a passed ball and scored on Jamie Martin’s infield single to the shortstop hole.
In the seventh, Bouchard tripled with two outs and scored on Anesha Hersey’s single.
Staples pitched out of a two-on, two-outs jam in the third, stranded a runner on third with back-to-back strikeouts in the fourth and stranded two runners in the seventh by retiring the final two hitters.
Bouchard and McDougal each tripled and singled for the Vikings and Espling doubled and singled.
Ashley England singled twice for Old Town and Sam Milton had a bunt single.
Freshman Rachel Martin pitched well in defeat, allowing nine hits with two strikeouts and no walks while going the distance.
In the opener, senior center fielder Jamie Martin doubled home the tying run in the sixth inning, made a spectacular diving catch in the bottom of the sixth and doubled and scored the winning run in the eighth on an infield error.
The game featured a terrific pitcher’s duel between Staples and Kendra Hayward. All of the runs were unearned.
Old Town took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Martin legged out a bunt single, stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored when she escaped a rundown and slid under the tag at the plate after Ashley Abbott hit a bouncer back to Staples at the mound.
Caribou tied it in the sixth when Hersey reached on an infield error and scored on Martin’s double over center fielder Cousins’ head.
In the eighth, Martin looped a double into short left field and scored on a two-out infield throwing error on McDougal’s grounder.
Staples struck out 11 and walked one while throwing 71 strikes among her 98 pitches.
Martin had three hits as she also singled to go with her two doubles.
Meagan Cousins had two singles for Old Town and Hayward tossed a seven-hitter, striking out 12 and not walking anyone. She threw 92 strikes among her 115 pitches.