BIDDEFORD — It’s the job of the coach in any sport to keep his players calm. But in the case of the Biddeford Little League softball 11-12 all-stars, that role might be reversed.

Biddeford has put together a mini-dynasty, with its 11-12 all-stars advancing to the Little League East Regional in Bristol, Connecticut, for the second consecutive year. It’s the third straight year that many of these girls have won a state championship.

“I’ve never had a group like this,” said Manager Andy Donovan. “This is probably the most relaxed I’ve ever coached in my 13 years and that’s because they know what to expect. I tell them not to get nervous, don’t get nervous. And they tell me not to get nervous. ‘We’ve got this.’ It’s pretty unique for them and for me.”

Biddeford won the Little League softball 11-12 state championship last weekend by beating Scarborough 3-1 in the title game. Biddeford will play Morrisville, Pennsylvania, at 8 p.m. Saturday in the first game of the double-elimination tournament. The regional has champions from 10 states, with the winner heading to the World Series in Portland, Oregon, on Aug. 9-16.

Biddeford was 3-2 in the East Regional last year. In 2015, five of these players were on the 9-10 all-star team that won the state championship and advanced to the regionals in Pennsylvania. Those players have won four consecutive District 4 championships, their lone loss in Maine competition coming in the 2014 9-10 state championship game.

Lexi Libby, the outstanding defensive shortstop, said that success added a little pressure this year. “There were a lot of people who expected us to bring home another state championship,” she said.

And they did, relying heavily on the experience they’ve gained over these last four years.

“It’s the leading factor in our success,” said Donovan. “It almost was kind of seamless (this year) in the sense that many of the girls knew the positions they wanted, or expected, to play … They were coaching themselves. They called out the plays, they knew what to do. I was able to sit back and enjoy.”

It also helps to have pretty good players.

Charlotte Donovan has been a dominant pitcher, going 8-0 in the playoffs with a 1.40 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. She has 71 strikeouts in 43 innings and has pitched all but one inning for Biddeford.

She’s also a pretty good hitter, leading the team with a .741 batting average, one home run, 21 runs and 10 RBI. Hannah Gosselin is hitting .455 with nine RBI and seven runs, followed by Laura Perreault (.400, eight RBI, eight runs), Cheyenne Tardif (.350, six RBI and four runs) and Baylor Wilkinson (.333, seven RBI and five runs).

“These girls focus a lot on offense,” said Andy Donovan. “We hit daily and they look forward to it. As a result you better score a lot of runs against these girls or you’re in trouble.”

Biddeford outscored opponents 41-9 in the state tournament.

“This team is amazing,” said Charlotte Donovan. “We just want to go there and do our best. Hopefully we can go further this year.”

Wilkinson, the first baseman who drove in two runs in the state game, said the key to further success is pretty simple: “Hitting, pitching, fielding. Everything.”

And they’re confident they can get it done. Continued success does that to a team.

“We all just work together as a team,” said Perreault, the catcher. “We try our best. Always.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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