Wednesday, March 12, 2014
STANDISH - Jamie Plummer pitched a perfect game Thursday, allowing one ball out of the infield, as top-ranked Richmond defeated second-seeded Greenville 12-0 in a five-inning Western Class D softball final at St. Joseph's College.
SATURDAY'S SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES
CLASS A: Scarborough (18-1) vs. Skowhegan (14-5), noon at Cony High, Augusta
CLASS B: Greely (15-4) vs. Oceanside (18-1), 11 a.m. at St. Joseph's College, Standish
CLASS C: Madison (19-0) vs. Bucksport (19-0), noon at Brewer High
CLASS D: Richmond (16-0) vs. Penobscot Valley (18-1), 3 p.m. at St. Joseph's College, Standish
"It's kind of surreal to think about," Plummer said. "We just wanted to win and we did."
Richmond (16-0) will have a rematch with Penobscot Valley of Howland (18-1) in the state final Saturday at St. Joseph's. Penobscot Valley defeated the Bobcats 4-2 in last year's state final.
"Unbelievable," Richmond Coach Rick Coughlin said. "A perfect game in a Western final is quite a feat. She's come on so strong. Every game she's just pitched better and better. She's just been incredible."
Richmond would have been fine even had Plummer been off her game because it was aggressive and confident at the plate. Richmond had 11 hits and drew four walks after totaling 11 runs in two games against Greenville pitcher Molly Foley earlier this season.
"Our other games, we didn't really hit good off of her," Richmond first baseman Kelsie Obi said. "But when we came here, we hit great off of her. Her windup's fast so that's what we focused on in our previous games. But today we realized that we can hit her if we just don't focus on her windup."
Obi, Noell Acord, Payton Johnson and Brianna Snedeker each had two hits, and Andrea Meagher added a double and two walks. Coughlin credited taking regular batting practice against a former Richmond standout, Leandra Martin, for the offense.
"Since the last Buckfield game she's been pitching to us every day except for weekends," Coughlin said. "It's helped us immensely. You can see the confidence, just going down there and being ready to hit the ball, right down through the order."
Greenville hit one ball out of the infield and that was when Jasmine Senatus opened the game with a fly to right. After the Lakers went down in order, Richmond went up 2-0 on an RBI triple by Snedeker and Obi's RBI bunt single.
The Bobcats tacked on a run in the second and six in the third. Johnson had the key hit, a two-run double down the right-field line.
Greenville's innings were over so quickly, Plummer threw only six pitches in the second, seven in the third, eight in the fourth and seven in the fifth. She finished with three strikeouts and 42 pitches.
"Today, me and Chika (Obi, Richmond's catcher), we really worked on using the corners to try to get them to reach or to hit it up inside," Plummer said, "and I think it was successful."
After Greenville went down in the fifth, the Bobcats needed only one run to clinch the perfect game. They got it when Johnson singled, stole second, moved to third on an error and came home on Obi's groundout.
Richmond will again face Penobscot Valley pitcher Kayla Dube on Saturday. Dube struck out 14 in last year's final.
"You don't win many games that way," Coughlin said. "They've only got to make seven more outs. Hopefully, I think the way we're hitting and playing, we can give them a good game.
SKOWHEGAN 2, BANGOR 0: The fourth-seeded Indians (14-5) rode the one-hit pitching of Kaitlyn Therriault to beat seventh-ranked Bangor (12-7) in the Eastern Class A final at Augusta.
"It's unreal," senior Shelby Obert said. "At the beginning of this season I would never have guessed it."
Skowhegan will face Scarborough for the state title at noon Saturday Saturday at Augusta.
MADISON 10, DIRIGO 3: Emily McKenney pitched well again and top-ranked Madison (19-0) had 16 hits to beat second-seeded Dirigo (13-6) in the Western Class C final at Standish.
"I think we really believed in ourselves more this year," said McKenney, who threw a complete game for the win and went 3 for 4.
"I think we had it last year but I think we just believed more this year. We just all knew that we had a shot and we wanted to put everything out there and just do the best we could."
Madison will play Bucksport for the state title Saturday.
"Bucksport has a very good pitcher, so we've got to get up and hit the ball," Madison Coach Al Veneziano said. "We've got to play our game and make sure that we don't give them big innings, and we limit their time at the plate."
Madison beat Dirigo 2-1 in Dixfield during the regular season and the Cougars put McKenney to work early. Dirigo fouled off 12 two-strike pitches in the first three innings and McKenney threw 70 pitches to get the first nine outs.
"It was definitely frustrating," McKenney said. "Nobody wants to throw 70 pitches in three innings. It's very tiring."