As University of Maine football coach, Jack Cosgrove knows something about the power of winning and losing. Saturday afternoon, he watched as his daughter Jeri, a senior catcher for Bangor High, and her teammates came up just short of the school’s first Class A softball championship.

The Rams lost to South Portland, 1-0.

“She’s taking it pretty hard,” said Cosgrove. “That team was very close.”

Asked if watching his daughter lose a state title game was tougher than losing to, say, UMass or UNH, Cosgrove said, “Really, they both feel the same. No different.”

Cosgrove noted before the game that these teams had met for a state championship long ago — in Little League softball. South Portland, he said, won that one too.

 

RALPH ACETO has a pretty open relationship with his players at South Portland. He coached many of them at other levels, and they often refer to him simply as “Ralph.”

Midway through Saturday’s championship game, he and senior catcher Stephanie Thibeault had a disagreement over a stolen base attempt that failed.

His displeasure with her was voiced quite loudly — loud enough to be heard by just about everyone on the South Portland side.

When the next half inning ended, Thibeault approached Aceto and said, “I’m sorry.” The two then hugged, and all was forgiven.

“She’s like a daughter to me,” said Aceto. “I counted on her for so much this year. I moved her around the lineup, I used her to communicate with other players. She really is special.”

Thibeault said she shouldn’t have said anything to him.

“I love Ralph,” she said. “He’s the greatest coach I’ve ever had.”

 

TIM LOCKE is one of a handful of athletes who can say he was on state championship teams in two sports.

Saturday at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor, Locke helped Waterville win its first Class B baseball championship with a 9-5 victory over Cape Elizabeth.

Locked also helped Waterville win the 2009 Class A hockey championship.

In the past few years, Waterville has become one of the state’s top athletic programs, winning state titles in girls’ soccer, girls’ basketball, boys’ hockey and field hockey.

“I never thought I’d win another one,” Locke said. “Waterville is full of good coaching and everyone tries hard to make everybody a better athlete.”

 

AFTER WINNING the past two Class B softball championships, Fryeburg Academy was not expected to be back in Saturday’s state championship game at Coffin Field in Bangor. Not after the Raiders lost a significant portion of their lineup, including All-State pitcher Hannah Hill, to graduation.

The Raiders, though, reached the final game of the season for the third time in three years, falling 6-1 to Hermon, which won its first Class B title since 1977. The Hawks last made it to the Class B championship game in 1994.

“We never expected to be here,” Raiders Coach Fred Apt said. “We’re a very young team, and I’d like to be back next year. We’re proud to be here.”

 

BEFORE THE Class C state championship baseball game at St. Joseph’s College in Standish, the public address system must have been feeling the effects of a long hot day.

The national anthem had to be postponed because the PA system wasn’t working properly. But that didn’t stop the Calais fans, down the right-field line, from singing it. The first base umpire, positioned down the line, stood at attention facing the flag. People in the press box wondered why he was facing the flag, since there was no anthem. It soon dawned on everyone that the Calais fans were providing the anthem.

Midway through the game, the sound system, with a different amplifier and a remote microphone, started working.

Since 2006, the Western Maine regionals and state finals announcer at St. Joseph’s has been Rob Donato, a St. Joseph’s graduate.

 

– Staff Writers Mike Lowe, Rachel Lenzi and Tom Chard contributed to this report.