H.S. softball: Twice the pitching

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With so many games in so few days this time of year, two pitchers are always better than just one.

So it seems like perfect timing that St. Dom’s may be getting its two pitchers back to working order.

The Saints have two hurlers in Hannah Sterling and Amanda Cullen. Because of a back injury, Cullen has seen limited duty. Sterling has had much of the workload.

Though the Saints have managed to get two games in this week, they play Friday and have another game Saturday morning.

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“To have them both would be great,” St. Dom’s coach Kat McKay said. “That’s why we don’t want to put Amanda back in too soon, but we also have to be conservative with Hannah because we can’t have her pitching five games a week.”

Cullen strained her back while pitching in cold conditions early in the season. She’s been trying to work back to full strength ever since. In the meantime, Sterling has shouldered much of the load for the 7-3 Saints.

“It’s a lot of pain for her,” said McKay, who had pitcher issues last year when her starter was injured just before the season, forcing her to use two unproven pitchers, including Sterling. “She’s been pitching through it. We’re just trying to work her back into the rotation.”

Cullen, a lefty,  got the start Wednesday against Lisbon. She pitched three innings and allowed five runs. Sterling, a righty,  came on in the fourth and held the Greyhounds to one hit as St. Dom’s rallied for the win.

As the Saints battle for a playoff berth down the stretch, the hope is Cullen and Sterling can combine to give St. Dom’s a strong finish.

“That’s big with a schedule like this because it’s always back-to-back-to-back games,” said McKay.

Out of action

Leavitt has lost its pitcher to an ankle injury. Adrie Newton  rolled her ankle during a basketball game this week. It has put her out of action indefinitely. She had a scheduled x-ray Thursday to determine whether the ankle is broken.

Losing Newton is a blow to the Hornets, currently 4-7. Leavitt is ranked ninth in the Western B standings and is trying to secure that final playoff spot.

The Hornets tried two different pitchers in Wednesday’s 12-6 loss to Rockland. Coach Pete Higgins said third baseman Mariah Treadwell will likely assume the pitching duties. Treadwell came on in relief in the loss to the Tigers.

Measuring stick

The Oak Hill softball team lost back-to-back games last week but got a good taste of two of the top teams in Eastern B. Winslow beat them 8-6. That was followed by a 3-2 loss to Medomak Valley.  The Black Raiders are currently 8-2 and ranked fifth in Eastern B while the Panthers are the top seed at 9-0.

“We had Winslow 5-2,” Oak Hill coach Julie Boucher said. “We were winning. We know we can beat any team. Against Winslow, it was defensive mistakes, and they took full advantage of them.”

While the defense let them down against Winslow, the defense and pitching of Lauren Hall was superb against Medomak Valley. The Raiders’ bats just couldn’t get a rally going to overcome an early lead.

“We know we can stay up with any team,” said Boucher. “I think we’ve got the most consistent lineup up I’ve ever had on offense. It’s very solid throughout. It’s just a matter of putting it together.”

The Raiders have not lost to a Western B team yet. Their only other loss came against Belfast, 1-0. Oak Hill still has two games remaining against Maranacook. The Black Bears are 8-2 and ranked seventh in Western B, right behind sixth-seeded Oak Hill.

Cougars in an upset

Dirigo got a boost in the standings with last week’s upset of Telstar. The Cougars handed the defending Class C state champs their first regular season loss in three years with a 2-1 win.

Alyssa Wade pitched her team to the win by scattering seven hits and striking out seven. She even escaped a bases-loaded threat with her Cougars up 2-0.

Dirigo got its two runs in the third when Kyme Dolloff and Natalie Bolduc singled. Ambyr Wilson and Tasha Deroche followed with RBI hits to put the Cougars ahead. Telstar’s lone hit came on a Lyndsay Merrill solo homer.

Dirigo (6-5) was blanked by Telstar 8-0 early in the season, but the Cougars have won three of their last four to move up to fourth in Western C, after a 3-4 start.

Short season

The Buckfield softball team will be packing most of its season into the next 12 days. The Bucks are currently 2-2 in Western D and have 11 games to play between now and the regular season finale against Vinalhaven on June 1.

The Bucks will have a doubleheader this weekend with Valley and then two doubleheaders next week with Forest Hills and Greenville. They’re also mixing in single games with NYA and  Old Orchard.

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