November 18, 2019

BC Patriots beat Ashland for EM crown French allows only one hit

BREWER – Wednesday night’s Eastern Maine Class D softball championship game brought together two of the top pitchers in the region.

The duel between the two senior standouts lasted only 21/2 innings.

Jillian French pitched a dominating one-hitter, striking out 14 while allowing only one baserunner, to lead the third-seeded Patriots to a 17-0, five-inning victory over top-seeded Ashland at Coffin Field.

Coach Robert Leathers’ Bangor Christian ballclub (16-3) advances to face Western Maine champ Buckfield (10-6) in Saturday’s 11 a.m. state title contest, also at Coffin Field.

It was the third regional softball title overall, and the first since 2001, for the Patriots.

“They play as a team and they focus on what’s best for the team,” Leathers said. “They are a great group of girls. Every one of them is very unselfish.”

Ashland closes out a superb season at 17-1. Several of its players also were members of the Hornets’ EM champion soccer team and their EM runner-up basketball squad.

French (14-2) was in command from the outset. She had Ashland’s righthanded batters bailing out and got them to repeatedly chase high pitches.

“I think they were expecting to see harder [pitches] than they actually saw, but I don’t think they were expecting to see the movement,” French said. “I throw a lot of curveballs. That’s why you see them jump out of the box and it curves over the plate.”

French struck out the first 12 batters she faced before Andrea Mayo broke the streak with a fly-ball double to center field to open the fourth. It was the first of only two times Ashland would put the ball in play.

French responded by fanning the next three batters.

“We don’t see anything like that,” Ashland coach Terry Hunter said of French’s pitching. “They’re a good team. They outplayed us big time.”

Hornets ace Whitney Flint started strong, but was bothered by a right arm injury that has plagued her of late. Flint has been trying to manage the nagging condition.

“That’s no excuse for losing this game, but she loses the feeling in these [last] three fingers and she can’t grip the ball,” Hunter explained.

The Patriots took advantage of Flint’s struggles. They waited out 10 walks and came up with a few clutch hits while scoring seven runs in the third inning and 10 in the fourth to put the game out of reach.

“There’s been times when we’ve been too hasty,” said BC’s Christin Pelletier. “We’ve been learning to just be patient, because we’ve seen a lot of different speeds this year, different types of pitching.”

Flint struck out seven, all in the first three innings. She gave up six hits.

As it turned out, one run would have been enough for French and the Patriots, who sent 25 batters to the plate over the third and fourth innings. They took whatever the Hornets would give them.

The third inning began with Libbey Long drawing the first of her four walks on the evening. Whitney Holmes followed with a high-chop single off the pitcher’s glove and Bekah Smith walked to load the bases.

One out later, Pelletier hit a pop-fly RBI single to left and French lined a run-scoring infield single off Flint’s chest, before a wild pitch made it 3-0.

Four walks, a fielder’s choice and another wild pitch helped BC make it 7-0.

“We all work together,” Pelletier said. “We’ll all do our part and come together to make it happen.”

Pelletier also stroked a three-run triple in the fourth inning, while Moriah Bach posted two singles to pace the Patriots offense. Bekah Smith had two RBIs on bases-loaded walks.



(5 innings)

Bangor Christian (16-3) Ashland (17-1)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

Smith, 2b 2 2 0 2 Mayo, ss 2 0 0

Brasslett, c 3 0 0 1 Baker, 1b 2 0 0

Levasseur, pr 0 1 0 0 Flint, p 2 0

R. French, pr 0 0 0 0 Chasse, c 2 0

Pelletier, 3b 4 3 2 4 C. Cook, cf 2 0

J. French, p 2 0 1 1 Pelkey, 3b 1 0 0

Philbrick, pr 0 2 0 0 M. Cook, ph 1 0

Bach, ss 3 2 2 0 Poulin, 2b 1 0 0

Robinson, 1b 4 2 0 2 Belanger, ph 1 0 0

Alexander, cf 2 1 1 1 Graham, rf 1 0

Pray, ph 1 0 1 0 M. Donovan, dp 1 0 0

Long, lf 0 2 0 0 W. Donovan, lf 0 0 0

Holmes, rf 2 2 1 1

Totals 23 17 8 12 Totals 16 0 1 0

Bangor Christian 007 (10) 0 – 17

Ashland 000 0 0 – 0

E-Mayo, Graham; LOB-Bangor Christian 7, Ashland 1; 2B-Mayo; 3B-Pelletier; SB-Pelletier, Bach, Long

Ashland IP H R ER BB SO

Flint (L, 17-1) 3 6 16 16 10 7

W. Donovan 2 2 1 1 5 0

Bangor Christian IP H R ER BB SO

J. French (W, 14-2) 5 1 0 0 0 14

Flint faced seven batters in the fourth

HBP-J. French (by W. Donovan); WP-Flint 3; T-1:31; ATT-350 (est.)

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