Page homer lifts Eagles past Tigers

12 years ago
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Staff photo/Kevin Sjoberg
Karen Page, right, is congratulated by Limestone-MSSM softball teammate Amanda Allen after Page slugged a three-run homer during her team’s 12-2 victory over Fort Fairfield Thursday.

By Kevin Sjoberg
Sports Reporter

LIMESTONE – After surrendering an average of nearly 17 runs per game in their first four regular season games, the pitching has come around nicely for the Limestone-MSSM Lady Eagles in recent play. Thursday’s home win over Fort Fairfield proved just that.

Even with back-up pitcher Melissa Cantafio handling the mound duties in place of regular starter Amanda Allen, the Tigers were limited to two runs, both coming in the fourth inning, on just three hits in the hosts’ 12-2 triumph.

Limestone-MSSM, ranked third in the Eastern Maine Class D Heal Point standings, has now limited opponents to five runs or less in six of its last 10 games.

Offense has not been a problem, other than in the Eagles’ two losses as they scored a total of five runs. In their 12 victories, however, Limestone-MSSM has averaged a whopping 18 runs per contest.

A seven-run rally in the second inning was all the Lady Eagles needed Thursday. In the frame, coach Ryan O’Neal’s team sent 11 batters to the plate, with seven hitting safely. The big blow was a three-run homer off the bat of Karen Page, who became Limestone-MSSM’s fifth different player to clear the fence this season.

“We’ve got several hitters who if they walk into the right pitch can get them,” O’Neal said, “but we probably aren’t quite as consistent up and down the lineup as we’ve been in years past.

“When we get into the playoffs, we’ll rely more on manufacturing runs and will need strong pitching and defense.”

Limestone-MSSM added a single run in the third and then put four more on the scoreboard in the fourth, with Stephanie Leighton’s triple spearheading the uprising and Cantafio and Allen chipping in with RBI singles.

“You don’t want to give us a walk or an error, because we’ll [take advantage],” O’Neal said.

Cantafio ended up with three hits, while Allen, Michaela Garrett and Leighton added two apiece.

Emily Blaisdell had two of the Tigers’ three hits, while teammate Jordann Coiley went all seven innings on the mound and helped herself with some nifty defensive plays.    

The Lady Eagles are now 12-2 after also topping Wisdom Friday, 11-8, while Fort Fairfield fell to 4-8 and is clinging to the 11th and final playoff position, just ahead of Southern Aroostook. The Tigers take on Central Aroostook today in a crucial contest being played in Mars Hill.

In other softball action, Fort Fairfield bested Ashland last Tuesday, 22-5, behind Abbey Player’s four hits.