STANDISH — If there’s a lesson to be drawn from Richmond’s performance in the Class D softball state championship game, it’s this: Don’t sell this group of senior athletes short.
The Bobcats entered Saturday’s state title game against Eastern Maine champion Penobscot Valley as underdogs, a year after losing to the Howlers and pitcher Kayla Dube. This day, though, belonged to the Bobcats and senior pitcher Jamie Plummer.
Plummer struck out 13 and escaped jams in each of the final four innings to lead Richmond to a 3-0 victory. Even Richmond Coach Rick Coughlin didn’t expect this type of performance from his lanky senior, and he watched her pitch a perfect game Thursday against Greenville.
“I didn’t,” Coughlin said. “I was surprised she shut them out. But every time they had something going, she’d come up with a strikeout or some big play.”
The state championship is the fifth for Richmond’s senior class, which has played for nine state titles, winning three in soccer and two in softball. Richmond finished 17-0.
“It just completes our run,” senior catcher Bri Snedeker said. “We feel like our time in school is complete. Obviously there’s always nerves but you get used to it after awhile.”
Both Plummer and Dube allowed four hits, but Plummer didn’t walk a batter while Dube walked seven and struck out 10.
“I expected them to hit the ball more than they did,” Plummer said. “This just doesn’t seem real; it’s amazing.”
Howlers Coach Thomas Coyle expected the Bobcats to play small ball and stationed third baseman Shaelyn Jones 30 feet from home plate. It didn’t matter, as Noell Acord and Payton Johnson opened the game with bunts and eventually scored — Acord on a passed ball and Johnson on an error.
“Small ball is small ball,” Coyle said. “It either works or it doesn’t.”
Acord drew a walk in the sixth and moved to second on a hit by Johnson. They executed a double steal, and Acord scored on a wild pitch.
Penobscot Valley (18-2), meanwhile, twice failed to score after getting a runner to third with nobody out.
“I would never have thought they would go undefeated,” Coughlin said. “They want to win in every sport, I don’t care what it is.”
CLASS C SOFTBALL
BUCKSPORT 7, MADISON 0: Cassidy Adams scattered six hits, and Alanna Davis and Debbie Wight each drove in two runs as the Bucks (20-0) completed a second straight undefeated season at Brewer.
Adams struck out eight and was backed by errorless defense as she improved to 40-0 for her career.
Bucksport broke a scoreless tie with four runs in the third, including an RBI single by Wight and a two-run single by Davis.
Cristie Vicneire went 3 for 3 with two doubles for Madison (19-1).
CLASS C BASEBALL
DIRIGO 8, STEARNS 2: T.J. Frost singled home the go-ahead run in the fourth inning and Chad Snowman pitched a six-hitter as the Cougars (18-2) earned their second consecutive state championship and third in four years with a victory over the Minutemen (17-3) at Bangor’s Mansfield Stadium.
Dirigo finished with 11 hits, including at least one by every starter except Snowman, who reached base three times.
CLASS D BASEBALL
BANGOR CHRISTIAN 4, BUCKFIELD 0: Ben Bragg allowed just four hits and smacked an RBI double as the Patriots (18-1) successfully defended their state championship with a victory over the Bucks (14-2) at Standish.
It was the fourth straight playoff shutout for Bangor Christian, which outscored its opponents 41-0.