Madison finishes perfect season with 3-1 Class C title win over Bucksport

Madison Bulldogs: 2016 Class C softball champions

Madison Bulldogs: 2016 Class C softball champions

Aly LeBlanc drove in the go-ahead run while Madeline Wood pitched a 4-hitter

Aly LeBlanc drove in the go-ahead run while Madeline Wood pitched a 4-hitter

(Standish ME) Madison capped an undefeated season with a Class C title win over Bucksport, 3-1, on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Bailey Field on the campus of St. Joseph’s.

This game was tied at 1-1 into the bottom of the sixth inning before a second-life triple by senior Aly LeBlanc gave Madison the lead.  Senior Erin Whalen followed immediately with a sacrifice fly to left and the Bulldogs had a two-run cushion.

Winning pitcher, junior Madeline Wood, kept the ball in the infield for the final three outs and the celebrating began for the 20-0 Bulldogs.

First baseman Erin Whalen handles the final putout

First baseman Erin Whalen handles the final putout

Terrific pitching by Bucksport’s Kate Saunders (6 hits/5 K’s) and Madison’s Madeline Wood (4 hits/7 K’s).

Kate was 12-0 for the season coming into the championship game.

Madison put a run on the board in the bottom of the 3rd inning.   Sophomore Aishah Malloy drilled a line drive into the gap between center and right and turned it into a no-out triple.  One out later, senior Kayla Bess hit a ball to left of Bucksport shortstop Darian Jellison and Aishah took home on the fielder’s choice.

Eliza Hosford crosses home with Bucksport's run in the 4th inning

Eliza Hosford crosses home with Bucksport’s run in the 4th inning

The Bucks (19-2) answered with a run in the top of the 4th inning.  An infield hit (Eliza Hosford) and a well-placed bunt (Darian Jellison) gave Bucksport two runners with no outs.  Those runners would advance to second and third with no outs on a passed ball and a stolen base.  Two outs later the runners were still in the same places but Kate Saunder’s sharp single to right on the ground delivered Eliza.  A quick relay in by RF Aishah Malloy kept the runner on second from trying to score.  Pitcher Madeline Wood K’d Kaylee Grindle to end the threat.

Bucksport started the 6th inning with a bunt single (Darian Jellison) in a tie game.  Key play in the game?  Rightfielder Aishah Malloy stabbed a well-struck line drive at the top of her glove hit by next batter Julia Zavalza.   If that gets over Aishah, Darian scores from first and Bucksport would have had the lead.

Aly LeBlanc about to reach third after driving in the go-ahead run for Madison

Aly LeBlanc about to reach third after driving in the go-ahead run for Madison

In Madison’s game-winning bottom of the sixth, junior Madeline Wood led off with a walk.  Good place for Aly LeBlanc (one of the nine finalists for the Miss Maine Softball Award) to get an at-bat……..if you’re from Madison!  During the at-bat Aly hit a very high popup behind the plate that catcher Makenzie Smith had a chance at but dropped.  That second life was all that Aly needed.  Next pitch she hit a rope over Kaylee Grindle’s head in right.  Madeline Wood scored easily while Aly slide safely into third with no outs.  Aly would add Madison’s third run of the game on Erin Whalen’s fly to left.

Those two runs proved to be the difference in this one.

Sophomore Darian Jellison led Bucksport with two hits

Sophomore Darian Jellison led Bucksport with two hits

Sophomore Darian Jellison had two hits for Bucksport while sophomore Sydney LeBlanc had two hits for Madison.

Bucksport coach Mike Carrier has won four state titles.

Aly LeBlanc will be playing at Division 2 Augusta College (GA) next year.

Madison won the Class C title in 2014 with a 1-0 win over Calais.

Last time Bucksport lost (before today) was on May 18th versus Orono.

Bucksport defeated Madison, 7-0, for the title in 2013.

Bucksport defeated Dirigo last year for the state title.

I had a nice pressbox view of the game on a very sunny afternoon.

Aishah Malloy's crucial catch in the Bucksport 6th

Aishah Malloy’s crucial catch in the Bucksport 6th

Last year I saw Yarmouth defeat Hebron at the same site for the Class B championship.

Not quite sure how Madison ended up in the South geographically speaking.

Madison box

Bucksport box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Madeline Wood before the game.

Madeline Wood before the game.

Madeline Wood pitching

Madeline Wood pitching

Madysen Robichaud, Eliza Hosford, Kaylee Grindle

Madysen Robichaud, Eliza Hosford, Kaylee Grindle

Aishah Malloy on her way to third

Aishah Malloy on her way to third

Aishah Malloy about to cross with the first Madison run

Aishah Malloy about to cross with the first Madison run

Kate Saunders

Kate Saunders

Madeline Wood caught rounding second

Madeline Wood caught rounding second

Makenzie Smith

Makenzie Smith

Madeline Wood heads for third

Madeline Wood heads for third

Celebrating the third Madison run

Celebrating the third Madison run

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Aly LeBlanc

Aly LeBlanc

Aly Dean

Aly Dean

Madeline Wood

Madeline Wood

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