BIDDEFORD — Don’t look now, but the Biddeford Tigers softball team is on a roll.

The Tigers continued their mid-season surge Thursday afternoon, beating one of the SMAA’s top teams, Kennebunk, 3-1 with a timely hit and solid pitching.

The win was Biddeford’s fifth in a row after starting the season 2-5, and boosted their position in the heal points.

“We never changed the way we played,” Biddeford coach Leon Paquin said. “We played with the same style during this winning streak as we played with while we were struggling. The girls have confidence now and are beginning to pull it together.

“We’re playing Tiger ball, the old way, with defense, throwing strikes and being aggressive.”

The Kennebunk win was one of the biggest of the season for the Tigers, said junior Katelyn Lebreux. Kennebunk entered the game 8-2 and ahead of the Tigers (7-5) in the heal point standings. The win put Biddeford in fifth place and knocked Kennebunk down to sixth.

“This was huge for us,” Lebreux said. “Our record against Kennebunk hasn’t always been that good. We really wanted this one.”

It was Lebreux who did the damage for the Tigers in the bottom of the sixth inning.

With one out, Sara Scott drew a walk and then Katie Plante hit a single to put runners at first and second before Mariah Albert walked to load the bases.

Lebreux, who hit a line shot earlier in the game that Kennebunk’s Maddy Kasprzak snagged ending a Tigers’ threat, came to the plate.

She fouled the first pitch from Carinn Burns off her left ankle and hobbled out of the box. She returned to the plate and drove the next pitch to the gap in left center, scoring Dalani Roy and Scott for a 3-1 lead.

“I was looking to hit anything but a change up,” Lebreux said. “The earlier chance was disappointing, but I knew I got a solid piece. We just needed this one to keep the momentum up.”

Biddeford freshman pitcher Abbie Paquette set down the Rams in order in the top of the seventh, earning the complete-game win.

Paquette has now won five games in a row and Paquin said she is no longer a rookie hurler as she allowed seven hits, struck out four and didn’t walk any batters.

“She has grown so much from the first games of the season where she had to face two great teams in Scarborough and Thornton Academy (both 1 and 3 in the heal points),” Paquin said. “She’s learned that she has to throw strikes and she’s gotten better and better. She is no longer a freshman pitcher now and she’s grown up.”

Besides the sixth inning, Burns also held the Biddeford bats at bay scattering six hits and striking out five. She also forced Biddeford to leave nine runners on base.

“She did a nice job of mixing her pitches today,” Kennebunk coach James Lang said. “But you need to give Biddeford a lot of credit.”

Kennebunk also had several chances to score, but left six runners on base. The Rams’ best chance to plate more runs came in the top of the third.

With one out, Meg Cadigan put down a bunt that stopped only inches to the left of the plate for a single. Then Liz Cable and Janelle Bouchard followed that with back-to-back singles to load the bases before Cadigan scored on a wild pitch, tying the game at 1-1.

That was all Kennebunk could muster, however, as Paquette struck out the next batter and got Hannah King to hit into a groundout, ending the inning.

“We had our opportunities today,” Lang said. “We just left them out there and we couldn’t get the big hit when we needed it.”

Kennebunk’s Burns, King and Meg Dube each smacked doubles, while Biddeford’s Alyssa Baldino and Lebreux each had extra base hits.

Cadigan and Lebreux each had two hits.

— Contact Al Edwards at 282-1535, Ext. 323.



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