HAMPDEN, Maine — The Hampden Academy softball team got a measure of revenge for last year’s 5-3 loss to Bangor in the first round of the Class A North playoffs with an impressive 6-1 win over the Rams on Monday.
Hampden received a three-hit gem from senior righthander Danielle Masterson, who struck out 11 and walked just two while throwing 100 pitches, 68 of which were strikes.
Pivotal play: Senior center fielder Cam Neal belted a three-run opposite-field homer to right in a five-run third-inning rally that proved decisive as Hampden Academy improved to 2-1 while Bangor fell to 1-1.
“I typically don’t do that,” said Neal referring to hitting to the opposite field. “The pitch was outside and I knew it was gone when I hit it. I hit off the meat of the bat.”
Allee Wellman had tied the game with a sharp line drive single past pitcher Lane Barron and Emma Chute walked before Neal launched her homer to right.
Masterson doubled later in the inning and scored on an error and Wellman drove in a sixth inning run with another sharp base hit.
Big takeaway: Hampden Academy will be a contender if Masterson can continue to pitch the way she has so far. She lost 1-0 to defending champ Skowhegan in the opener.
“I threw a lot of riseballs and a lot of curves. I tried to keep them inside and make sure there was nothing too much over the plate,” said Masterson. “This was a big game for us.”
“She did a nice job moving the ball around and we swung at a lot of pitches that weren’t ideal for us,” said Bangor coach Maureen Barron.
Bangor hit only three balls hard off Masterson.
Casey Carter rippled a long triple down the left field line in the first and scored Bangor’s only run on a Rae Barron groundout; Gabby Goding drilled a ground rule double to right center in the second and Carter lined out to Masterson in the third.
What’s next: Hampden plays at Hermon on Thursday and Bangor visits Old Town Thursday.