BUCKSPORT, Maine — The Bucksport High School Golden Bucks moved a step closer to defending their state Class C softball championship on Saturday afternoon, parlaying senior righthander Cassidy Adams’ three-hitter and an opportunistic offense into a 4-0 victory over Orono in their Eastern Maine Class C semifinal.
The 18-0 Bucks will take on the winner of Monday’s semifinal between No. 5 Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln (15-2) and top seed Calais (17-0) in Wednesday’s regional final at Brewer’s Coffin Field.
Orono, the third seed, wound up 13-5 with all five losses coming to the Bucks (3) and defending EM Class B state champ Old Town (2).
Adams allowed three singles but the Riots never advanced a runner past first base.
Adams struck out 10, giving her 190 on the season, and didn’t walk anyone. She has issued just four walks all season. She has pitched every game and the shutout was her seventh of the season.
Adams threw 83 pitches of which 66 were strikes over the 54-minute affair.
Adams said she went primarily with her rise ball.
“It always works. It’s my favorite pitch to throw,” said Adams, who will attend the University of New England in Biddeford next fall. “We were throwing that a lot and just fastballs.”
She was satisfied with her performance.
“I felt like I did what I normally do. I did what coach [Mike Carrier] and my catcher [Alanna Davis] tell me to do. I pitch it and I have I faith in my defense,” said Adams whose mates played errorless ball behind her.
“She’s a tremendous pitcher,” said Orono co-head coach Kristen Espling. “She’s the best in Eastern Maine Class A, B, C or D.”
“She’s very, very good. She has a lot of pitches and she has speed. She’s a lot like [Old Town ace] Kendra Hayward,” said Orono senior pitcher Jillian Woodward, who turned in an impressive seven-hit complete game against a team that was averaging 11.8 runs per game entering the contest.
Just one of the runs off her was earned. The Salve Regina University (R.I.)-bound Woodward struck out five and walked just one while throwing 81 pitches, 52 for strikes.
“I was pleased with the way I pitched. My ball was moving and I hit my spots. They just got some hits. They’re a good team,” said Woodward.
The Bucks staked Adams to a 2-0 lead just six pitches into the game on two balls that didn’t even reach the mound.
Andie Lawford beat out a little dribbler in front of the plate and came around to score when a throwing error was committed on Bree Bires’ sacrifice bunt. Bires raced to third on the play and, when an errant throw to third sailed into left field, she wound up scoring.
“Andie’s tough. To have a leadoff hitter like her with that speed and to have someone else right behind her with almost the same speed [is nice],” said Carrier. “They’re two tough competitors right there. They’re hard to get out.”
“That’s our game…try to get on base and make things happen,” said Lawford who added a pair of bunt singles for a three-for-three day.
“That stung a little bit but our kids battled back and only allowed two more,” said Espling. “On a dicey day when you weren’t sure you were going to play, it turned out to be a great game. We battled.”
Bucksport added insurance runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
In the fourth, Alanna Davis reached on an infield throwing error and scored on the game’s only extra-base hit, a Jen Pye double that one-hopped the fence in left center field.
“That pitch was high and she got under it,” said Woodward.
“I’ve been hitting well lately and that ball carried,” said Pye.
In the fifth, Eliza Hosford slapped a leadoff single into center, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error as she stole third.
In addition to Lawford, Pye was also a repeat hitter with a single to go with her double. Adams and Hosford each had a single.
Makayla Brown’s line-drive single to left in the third inning, Elizabeth Hardison’s sharp ground-ball single off the second baseman’s glove in the fifth and Chloe Douglass’ crisp ground-ball single to center in the seventh were Orono’s only hits.