Messalonskee’s Brooke Martin (4) connects on a pitch during the sixth inning of a KVAC softball game against Bangor on Friday in Oakland. Martin hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning of an eventual 10-4 Messalonskee loss. Kennebec Journal photo by Travis Barrett

OAKLAND — It should have come as no surprise that the Bangor softball team was at its best when its back was against the wall Friday against Messalonskee. The Rams have been backed into a corner since losing five of their first nine games to begin the season.

Bangor broke open a tie game with three runs in the sixth inning and three more in the seventh, pulling away to a 10-4 win over Messalonskee at Veterans Field in a game between two of the top four teams in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A division. Morgan-Carter Moulton backed her own effort in the pitching circle with a two-run single in the sixth to cap a 3 for 4 day at the plate, and Rowan Andrews was 2 for 3 with three runs batted in, including a two-run home run to straightaway center in the third inning.

Bangor (10-5) plated eight of its 10 runs with two outs and has now won six in a row to move into third in the Class A North standings. The Rams’ last loss came at home against Messalonskee on May 6.

“We keep talking about playing fearlessly,” Bangor coach Don Stanhope said. “Class A softball, it’s intense. There are really no games off. They’ve started to get on their front feet and started getting fearless, and it’s fun to watch them.”

“They’re coming off a really big week for them with a lot of big wins,” Messalonskee coach Samantha Moore said of Bangor. “Not to say that they’re not a good team, but they’re riding that confidence wave. … We were due for a little fire.”

Though the Rams were gifted two unearned runs in the top of the first to take the early lead, they had no such luck the rest of the way. Tied 4-4, and with two quick outs recorded by Messalonskee pitcher Danielle Hall to open the sixth, Bangor’s bottom of the order went to work. Cambria Prophete singled and Lane Barron walked, setting the table for leadoff hitter Gabby Gonzales.

Gonzales had struck out twice looking and flied out harmlessly to center in her three at-bats, but she roped a single to left that scored Prophete with the eventual game-winning run. Moulton followed with a double off the fence in center.

Messalonskee pitcher Danielle Hall delivers to Bangor’s Rowan Andrews in the fifth inning during a KVAC softball game Friday in Oakland. Kennebec Journal photo by Travis Barrett

“It’s a whole team effort. We have really good attitudes and energy, and I don’t think we give up much,” Moulton said. “Our energy, it may dip sometimes, but it will come right back up.”

Messalonskee (11-3), which saw its eight-game winning streak snapped, battled back from an early 4-1 deficit with three runs in the home half of the fourth. Ava Ardito (2 for 3) dropped a single into right to bring in Hall — who had reached earlier on an error — and No. 9 hitter Brooke Martin took advantage of the stiff wind blowing out to center with a two-run shot over everything.

But Bangor didn’t give in, Moulton saving her best stuff for when it mattered most.

Still tied in the fifth, the Eagles couldn’t turn a leadoff single into a go-ahead run and, an inning later, Moulton pitched around a pair of singles to strand two Messalonskee runners in scoring position with the Rams leading by just three.

“It helped that the mound started to dry up,” Moulton said. “That helped my stride and my speed and spin increase more than it was. Toward the end, I just started having more spin on the ball and I think that helped.”

“She started to really find her control at the bottom of the zone and trust her team behind her,” Stanhope said. “Messalonskee hits the ball well 1-9, and she couldn’t leave anything up. She made good adjustments.”


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