Lions, Panthers settle for split of competitive, low-scoring contestsBAHS baseball, MVHS softball earn hard-fought, early-season victories
Belfast — The Belfast and Medomak Valley baseball and softball squads hooked up in two early-season, low-scoring, down-to-the final at-bats diamond clashes on Friday afternoon, May 2.
When the dust settled, the teams had split the games, as the Lion baseball squad forged a 3-1 victory and the visiting Panther softball squad rode home with a 3-2 win.
The Panthers (1-4) earned their first victory of the season with a seventh-inning rally. The game was knotted 1-1 until Medomak Valley tallied two runs in the top of the final stanza and Belfast (2-2) responded with one in the bottom of the frame, but that was not quite enough to knot the game.
Medomak Valley, which finished with five hits and five errors, tallied one run in the fourth inning and two in the seventh. Belfast, which had four hits and one fielding miscue, tallied single runs in the sixth and seventh stanzas.
Hannah Marks (4 hits, hit batter, no walks, 6 strikeouts) pitched the win for the Panthers, while Ashley Littlefield (5 hits, hit batter, 2 walks, 13 strikeouts) was the tough-luck loser for the Lions. Lauren Guptill and Mariah Sturgis were the catchers.
Offensively for the Panthers, Sophie Cohen (single), Miranda Belcher (2 singles, RBI), McKenzie Wing (single, 2 RBIs) and Marks (single) led the charge.
For Belfast, Sturgis, Littlefield, Anna Simmons and Paige Pray-Smith all singled.
The game was a pitchers' duel as the first three innings were scoreless. Then, in the bottom of fourth, Marks led with a single and stole second base. Belcher plated Marks with a clutch two-out single to give Medomak Valley a 1-0 lead.
Belfast tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth stanza as Breann Cummings reached on a two-base error to center field, moved to third on a ground out and scampered home on another ground out.
The Panthers grabbed 3-1 cushion in the top of the seventh inning as Belcher reached on a misplayed pop-up, Megan Sykes was hit by a pitch and Hope Lash drew a one-out walk. After a strikeout, the stage was set for Wing as she came through with a two-strike hit up the middle to plate two runs.
Trailing by two runs, Belfast would not go quietly as Simmons led with a single and Pray-Smith hit a one-out infield single. The throw to third was misplayed as the Lions' second run scored to make it 3-2.
Marks then took the game in her own hands and struck out Belfast's second and third batters to ice the win for the visitors.
The Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B have not been updated to include the Lion/Panther result. The top 13 teams in the 19-team region qualify for the playoffs. Mount Desert Island (4-0, 7.6563 points) is first.
The host Lions (3-1) and visiting Panthers (1-4) battled toe-to-toe for seven innings as Belfast picked up a hard-fought win.
The Lions tallied single runs in the first, third and fifth innings. The hosts finished with seven hits and one error. Medomak Valley, which scored a single run in the fourth, had two hits and three fielding miscues.
Emery Dinsmore (earned run on 2 hits, walk, 8 strikeouts in 7 innings) earned the complete-game pitching win, while Micah Williamson (2 earned runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, strikeout in 3 innings as the starter) took the loss. Adam Wilcox (run, 0 earned runs, on 2 hits, no walks, 4 strikeouts in 3 innings) pitched in relief for the Panthers.
For Belfast, Alex Flagg (double, walk, 2 stolen bases, 2 runs), Dinsmore (single, stolen base, RBI), Drew Stanley (3 singles, stolen base, run), Matt Smith (RBI) and Sam Kulikowski (2 singles) paced the offense.
For Medomak Valley, Riley McCollett (single), Micah Williamson (single, 2 stolen bases, run) and Ollie Brown (RBI) led the offense.
Belfast scored a run in the first inning as Flagg walked and stole second. Flagg scored on Dinsmore's single.
The hosts made it 2-0 in the third as Flagg again ignited the uprising with a double, as he moved to third on Stanley's single and scored on a ground out by Smith.
Medomak Valley tightened the game in the fourth to 2-1 as Williamson singled, stole second and third and scored on a ground out by Brown.
The Lions added an insurance run in the fifth stanza as Stanley singled and stole second. He scored on an outfield error on a ball hit by Zach Collier.
The Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B have not been updated to include the Lion/Panther result. The top 13 teams in the 19-team region qualify for the playoffs. Winslow (3-1, 9.5702 points) is first.
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Ken Waltz has been member of the media 30 years and has received hundreds of Maine Press Association and New England Press Association awards for his writing, photography and page design. He studied journalism at the University of Maine in Orono. He lives in South Thomaston with his wife, Sarah. The couple has an adult son, Brandon.
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