August 19, 2019

Bither sparks Medomak> Panthers edge Bangor in eighth inning for crown

BREWER – Medomak Valley softball pitcher Danielle Bither didn’t need much in the way of fancy stuff during Wednesday’s Eastern Maine Class A championship game against Bangor at Coffin Field.

She stuck to fastballs. She mixed in a few changeups – five or six, by her own estimation. She let her infield handle the defense, including a game-ending double play.

The hard-throwing Bither struck out 10 and scattered five hits to lift the No. 6 Panthers of Waldoboro to a 2-1 victory in eight innings over the No. 5 Rams for Medomak Valley’s second regional crown since 1995.

Medomak Valley, now 13-6, will return to Coffin Field Saturday at 11 a.m. to play Western Maine champion Oxford Hills of South Paris for the state title. Bangor finishes its season at 13-6.

Bither struck out five in a row during the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and fanned two in the seventh inning, including a strikeout to end the inning with a runner on second.

“I was expecting them to come out and hit strong,” Bither said. “I just have to stay focused.”

With the Rams struggling to hit against Bither and the Panthers having their own troubles with Bangor freshman Jenny Jimmo, base running became that much more important. Medomak Valley scored both of its runs from second base.

“We have to scrap for every run we get,” Panthers coach Brad Robbins said. “That’s the way we’ve played all year long. I knew coming in that Bangor was a very good defensive team. I knew we weren’t going to get any big hits and I knew we would have to gamble when we had the chance to put a couple across.”

Robbins took a chance for the game-winning run in the top of the eighth inning, when MaDonna Etheridge, running from second base on a single by Shana Howard, beat out a throw to home.

In the bottom of the eighth, Bangor was able to place runners on first and second on a single and a walk after the first out – Bither’s only walk of the game. However, the Panthers ended the game when second baseman Kristen Brock caught Danielle Pinkerton’s line drive and flipped the ball to shortstop Erin Chase, who was covering second base, for the final out.

“Unfortunately, their pitcher did a great job of shutting us down,” Bangor coach Lisa Richards said. “We didn’t pick up offensively until the last couple of innings.”

The Rams tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on a fielding error that allowed Pinkerton to score from second base. Pinkerton had singled and advanced to second on a groundout by Jamie Kenny.

Pinkerton finished with two singles for the Rams.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the kids,” Richards said. “Even the way it ended, we went down aggressively. We stung the ball and I thought it might get through but they made a good play.”

Medomak Valley’s Audra Emerson, who singled twice for the Panthers, made up for a mistake earlier in the game with a single in the fourth inning that helped the first run score.

In the second, Emerson was caught off second base and tagged out. In the fourth, she singled to center field. Bangor’s defense bobbled the throw back to the infield, allowing pinch runner Hope Lobkowicz to score for a 1-0 lead that stood until the seventh inning.

“That’s what it was, I was thinking, `I’ll make up for it. I will make up for it,’ ” Emerson said.

Jimmo took the loss despite the six-hitter, striking out two and walking one. Bangor’s defense recorded 20 putouts.

Panthers 2, Rams 1 (8 inns.)

Medomak Valley (13-6) Bangor girls (13-6)

Name ab r h bi Name ab r h bi

Winchenbach, rf 4 0 0 0 Dionne, ss 4 0 0 0

Rice, cf 3 0 0 0 Kelly, 2b 3 0 0 0

Chase, ss 3 0 1 0 Pinkerton, 1b 4 1 2 0

a-Lobkowicz 0 1 0 0 b-Tower 0 0 0 0

Emerson, c 2 0 2 0 Kenny, c 3 0 0 0

Brock, 2b 2 0 0 0 Tuck, 3b 3 0 1 0

c-Reichard 0 0 0 0 Huckins, dh 3 0 0 0

Rudy, 1b 3 0 0 0 Warner, cf 3 0 0 0

Etheridge, 3b 3 1 2 0 Lewis, rf 3 0 1 0

Hayes, dh 3 0 0 0 Strout, lf 3 0 1 0

Howard, lf 3 0 1 1

Totals 26 2 6 1 Totals 29 1 5 0

a-ran for Chase in the fourth

b-ran for Pinkerton in the fourth

c-ran for Brock in the seventh

Medomak Valley 000 100 01 – 2

Bangor 000 000 10 – 1

E – Howard 2B – Etheridge LOB – Medomak Valley 2, Bangor 4 DP – Brock-Chase SB – Pinkerton S – Strout


Medomak Valley

Bither (W, 13-5) 8 6 1 0 1 10


Jimmo (L, 9-2) 8 6 2 1 1 2

TIME – 1:43 ATTENDANCE – 152

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