Sweep pushes softball team into top four

12 years ago
Staff photo/Kevin Sjoberg
Fort Fairfield third baseman Emily Blaisdell slaps a tag on the Eagles’ Kelsee Albert for a putout in Thursday’s game in Limestone.

By Kevin Sjoberg
Sports Reporter

By virtue of a doubleheader sweep at Old Town Saturday, the Caribou varsity softball team was able to secure a top-four seed in the upcoming Eastern Maine Class B tournament.

The Vikes, now 13-2, appear locked into the No. 4 position, which would allow them to host a preliminary playoff and, with a win in that round, a quarterfinal-round game as well. The final official Heal Point standings will be released later this week, while the playoffs are scheduled to begin Tuesday, June 5.

Caribou will wrap up its regular season by hosting Presque Isle today at 4 p.m.

On Saturday, Emily Staples continued her dominating season by picking up a pair of complete-game pitching wins – an eight-inning 2-1 decision in game one and a 4-0 shutout in the second game. She allowed a total of eight hits in the two contests while striking out 19 batters.

Old Town is one of the top teams in the division, having lost just two games entering the doubleheader.

Senior Jamie Martin was the hero in the extra-inning win. The speedy center fielder had an RBI double to tie the game in the top of the sixth and then doubled and scored the winning run on a throwing error in the eighth. She singled earlier in the game and also made a brilliant diving catch in the bottom of the sixth to prevent a Coyote rally.

Staples fanned 11 batters and walked only one. Her opposite, Kendra Hayward, had a great game on the mound as well with 12 strikeouts and zero walks.

In the second game of the day, Caribou scored three of its runs during the first three innings and Staples kept Old Town off the scoreboard throughout. Rebecca McDougal tripled and scored on Courtney Burby’s infield groundout in the second, while Caribou plated two more runs an inning later as Kelsie Espling doubled and eventually scored on Victoria Bouchard’s single. Bouchard then came across on an infield hit off the bat of Martin.

The Vikes added a final run in the seventh when Bouchard tripled with two outs and scored on Anesha Hersey’s single.

Last Tuesday, Staples was perfect in a five-inning 15-0 win at Houlton. She struck out 13 while facing the minimum 15 batters in a game that was shortened due to the 12-run rule. Kristin Plante homered and tripled and McDougal hit a home run to lead Caribou at the plate.

In baseball action, Caribou suffered a pair of one-run losses to the Coyotes Saturday, 5-4 in nine innings in the first game and 10-9 in the second.

In the opener, hits by Mike Selander and Caleb Chapman keyed a two-run rally in the top of the seventh to send the game into extra innings, but the hosts scored in the bottom of the ninth on D.J. Monteith’s RBI single. Matt Curry went all nine innings on the mound for Caribou, striking out eight.

Caribou jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the next game, but Old Town came all the way back. Selander and Carter Chabot had three hits each for Caribou. The Coyotes scored nine times in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game and tallied a single run in the seventh for the walk-off victory.

The Vikings, who also lost to Houlton last Tuesday, 4-2,  are now 4-11 entering today’s regular season finale at home against Presque Isle. Caribou is in 18th place in the 19-team division and will fall short of qualifying for the post-season.

In Class D action, Fort Fairfield bested Washburn Friday, 7-3, as Landon Towle struck out nine while going the distance on the mound. Ryan Pelkey’s two hits and three RBI led FF at the plate. Kyle McLaughlin, Jordan McLaughlin and Justin Farley had a hit apiece for Washburn.

A day earlier, the Tigers picked up a 9-4 win over Limestone-MSSM as Austin Bernier struck out 10 in the complete-game performance. Bernier and Pelkey had two hits each, while Billy Weissman had three singles. Chris Bernier did the pitching for the Eagles and Brandon Thompson’s three hits paced their offense.

Last Wednesday, Washburn defeated Ashland, 10-3, behind Jordan McLaughlin’s two-run homer and Noah Farley’s three hits and two RBI. Cody Blair ripped a two-run home run for the Hornets and Brandon Carney chipped in with two hits.

Ashland won its second game of the season a day earlier, beating FF, 24-11. Royce MacDonald tripled and singled twice and Mike Cook tripled and singled for the winners, while Bernier had four hits to lead the Tigers at the plate.

In the current Class D baseball standings, FF is 7-7 and in seventh place with one game left against Central Aroostook today. Limestone-MSSM was 9-6 and in ninth place entering yesterday’s final regular season game against Madawaska. Washburn was 5-7-1 and in 12th place heading into yesterday’s finale at home against Greater Houlton Christian Academy. The Tigers, Eagles and Beavers should all qualify for the playoffs, which also begin next Tuesday, June 5.