ORONO, Maine — With a dominant pitching performance by senior Cassidy Adams and some smart baserunning, No. 2 Bucksport became the Eastern Maine Class C softball champions for the second consecutive year Thursday evening at the University of Maine’s Mike Kessock field with a 3-2 victory over the No. 1 Blue Devils.
Deb Wight scored the game-winning run in the sixth inning when Calais catcher Maddie McVicar overthrew third base, trying to catch Wight off the bag, allowing Wight to come home and score the Golden Bucks’ decisive third run.
“It feels great. They deserve it, the girls have worked hard and they are one of the better teams in the state as far as I’m concerned,” said Bucksport head coach Michael Carrier.
Adams pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on five hits with nine strikeouts and no walks.
“[This] feels good, especially our senior year coming out with a win, hopefully we can do the same at states,” said Adams. “Last year we both came in undefeated, so we knew that they really wanted to beat us, so we were determined to keep our undefeated season.”
Bucksport improved to 19-0 and advanced to the state final at noon Saturday at Coffin Field in Brewer against the winner of the Western Maine final between Madison and Dirigo of Dixfield. Calais finished at 18-1.
Andie Lawford led off the game for the Golden Bucks with a single. Brianna Biers hit into a groundout, Lawford rounded second to head to third and then scored on an infield throwing error, putting Bucksport up 1-0 only two at-bats into the game.
“We played great defense. We took advantage of errors, our baserunning has been great all year long,” Carrier said.
Lawford paced Bucksport with two singles and two runs scored. Biers contributed with a single and two RBI.
“Good defense, timely hitting, that’s where it is. It’s hard to keep Andie and Bri off the bases, my first two. It’s tough to do,” added Carrier.
Olivia Smith led Calais on the mound and at the plate, pitching seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits and striking out three while walking two. Smith hit a triple, double and drove in one run as well.
McVicar scored the first run for Calais in the fourth inning after reaching on a single. Smith’s triple drove her in tie the game at 1. Kaitlyn Cundiff’s pop-up bunt fell just out of reach of Bucksport third baseman Kacie Hurd, allowing Smith to score and give the Blue Devils a 2-1 lead.
“They hit my rise ball which hasn’t been hit all year so that was a little shocking. They had a couple good hits that happened to go into the gaps,” Adams said.
McVicar scored one run and hit one single while Cundiff hit an RBI single to contribute to the Blue Devil offense.
Lawford and Biers combined to score Bucksport’s second run of the game when Lawford reached on a single in the fifth and Biers slammed a triple to drive her in and tie the score.
Wight led off the sixth inning with a single and advanced after Alanna Davis was hit by a pitch. Jenn Page looked to have fouled out when her bunt attempt went up and over her head into McVicar’s glove, but the umpire ruled that it hit Page on the way up, declaring it a foul ball, which continued the at-bat. Wight and Davis wound up advancing one base on a fielder’s choice when Page was thrown out on first on a groundout. Wight scored the game-winning run on the throwing error one batter later.
“He said it hit the batter. It hit off of her, from what I saw it looked like it didn’t, but he had a better view. They make the call, you have to live with it,” said Calais head coach Greg Smith.
“We could have played better defensively. I knew that was what it was going to come down to because they are very quick, and they take advantage of that. Hey, they’re kids. They’re going to make mistakes; it’s not the end of the world,” Smith added.
Adams said that Golden Bucks will employ the same strategy at the state championship game as they have all year.
“Just keep doing what we’ve been doing. It seems to be working; we don’t change anything for anybody.”