When Buckfield’s Hannah Shields slid into third and the ball scooted past Traip 3rd baseman, Cecelia Driscoll, right, Shields took off for home. Sirois looks like she will be tagged out at the plate after Driscoll picked up the ball and threw it to her catcher, Cala McEllin, but the throw was a little wide and Shields slid under the tag to score a run during Thursday’s game.

BUCKFIELD — The Buckfield softball team was at its lowest point of the season Tuesday after losing to rival Richmond for the second time this season, and at home, no less.

So Thursday’s non-conference game against Traip Academy provided a chance for the Bucks to rebound, and they did. Buckfield was able to come up with the big plays both at the plate and in the field, and that led to a 7-2 victory over the Rangers.

“I thought that we would (rebound), because this team does that really well,” Bucks coach Sandy Albert said. “Last time we lost to Richmond we rebounded and came right back and won every game (until Tuesday’s loss). So this team does really well, being able to do that. They forget about the past, which you have to do in softball.”

That last sentiment from Albert, about forgetting the past, also rang true for Thursday’s game with Traip.

Holding a 1-0 lead, the Bucks (12-2) committed a harmless error in the top of the third inning, then a costly one followed in the fourth with the score 2-0.

The one-out, bases-empty error preceded a hit-by-pitch and a bloop infield single that loaded the bases. Starting pitcher Abby Shields prevented one run by firing a grounder to her back to her sister, starting catcher Hannah Shields, for a force-out at home. But a bases-loaded walk and another bloop infield single tied the game 2-2 before the Shields sisters completed another force-out at home.

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“(Abby) stopped some base hits up the middle that were key to parts of breaking down their offense,” Albert said. “It was big, because then you not let them get another run. Sometimes that will momentum to getting more runs in innings. And by getting an out at home, and making those easy, fundamental softball plays, then you play better in the long run.”

Shields survived another error and bases-loaded jam in the sixth by inducing an infield fly and a groundout to end the Rangers’ (5-9) threat.

Traip coach Chris Andrews also mentioned fundamentals, but it was to lament how his team failed to make those fundamental plays. Just one of Buckfield’s seven runs was earned by Rangers starting pitcher Reilly Eddy.

Those unearned runs started for the Bucks in the bottom of the first. Hannah Shields hit a two-out infield single to the left side, then she scored off a steal of second. One errant Traip throw got Shields to third, and another brought her home.

Molly Bourget’s steal of second in the bottom of the second led to a second Buckfield unearned run. Bourget singled with one out, then as she was stealing second a throw from home glanced off her helmet and into right field, allowing Bourget to get to third. Kali Litchfield then drove her home with a sacrifice groundout.

“It’s just simple, fundamental mistakes that cost a run here, cost a run there, Andrews said. “But, I mean, they’re kids. They’re going to make mistakes. We’re going into the playoffs and we just got to close these mistakes down.”

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Cala McEllin and Emma McGonigle had singles in the Rangers’ two-run top of the fourth to tie the game.

The Bucks couldn’t take advantage of Hannah Shields’ lead-off triple in the bottom of the frame, but Litchfield hit one in the fifth to give Buckfield the lead back. Bourget hit a two-out single to get on base, and Litchfield followed with a three-bagger to right-center for a 3-2 lead.

“That’s a good hitting team,” Andrews said. “Wow, really good hitting team. There isn’t too many teams that hit like that off Reilly.”

Eddy struck out 12 batters in the game, but did give up eight hits to the Bucks.

“She’s a great pitcher. She’s very, very good,” Albert said. “But our bats did turn on today.”

Both Eddy’s pitching prowess and Buckfield’s batting ability shown through in the bottom of the sixth. Hannah Shields led off with a double and Bourget later singled in the inning to give them both three hits for the game. Eddy struck out five batters in the inning, but two wild pitches allowed Buckfield batters to reach, and both runners scored.

Abby Shields wasn’t as powerful pitching, striking out just two batters, but the senior scattered four hits and one walk in her final regular-season home game.

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Traip Academy shortstop Kate Sirois can’t handle the throw from her catcher as Buckfield’s Molly Bourget slides into second with a stolen base during Thursday’s game in Buckfield.Buckfield pitcher Abby Shields winds up for a pitch during Thursday’s game against Traip Academy.Buckfield’s Molly Bourget signals to the dugout from first base after driving in two runs during Thursday’s game against Traip Academy.Buckfield’s Kali LItchfield tags Traip Academy’s Madison Andrews out during a steal attempt during Thursday’s game in Buckfield.

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