Let’s see, at the beginning of the high school softball season, few people expected Scarborough High to be playing in the Class A state championship game.

No one, said Messalonskee Coach Leo Bouchard, picked his Eagles to finish in the top six.

Fryeburg Academy? Good but untested in some spots.

Bucksport? With only one senior on the roster, the Golden Bucks were at least a year away.

Shows how much preseason expectations mean.

All four of those teams will be playing for a state championship Saturday.

Scarborough and Messalonskee, both No. 2 seeds, will play for the Class A title at noon at Cony High’s field in Augusta. Fryeburg, unbeaten after 19 games, will meet Bucksport, a No. 3 seed, in the Class B championship game at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph’s College’s Bailey Field.

They all have to prepare for one last challenge.

“One of the things I’m going to stress,” said Scarborough Coach Tom Griffin, “is that if we don’t win the state championship, it’s going to be the same letdown we felt last year (when the Red Storm lost to South Portland in the regional final).

“And that’s the one thing we don’t want.”

Griffin is glad that the Red Storm had a couple of days between the regionals and state game.

In beating South Portland 1-0, Scarborough not only won the regional title to avenge last year’s loss, but played an emotional game against its top rival.

“My biggest challenge is to get my kids grounded now,” said Griffin. “I’m glad we have a couple of days to do that. If we had to play (Thursday) we would have been in trouble. They were on such an emotional high, they need to get back down.”

Mo Hannan, who has thrown three shutout victories in the playoffs for Scarborough, isn’t worried about that. She said she and her teammates know what the next game means. She is one of several Red Storm players who won the state championship as freshmen.

“I think, to me, this means more than it did in my freshman year,” she said. “I went into it that year with no expectations, no idea how big a deal it was. This year I know how much work we put into getting here.”

Losing to South Portland in 2010 was, “a shock,” said Hannan.

“But as much as it stunk to lose that game, I think it helped us. We knew the feeling (of losing) and we didn’t want it again.”

Bouchard, the Messalonskee coach, knows what his team is up against. And he’s playing the underdog card already.

“The kids love to play but they know Scarborough is favored, definitely not us,” he said.

“We’ve got nothing to lose. We were the No. 2 seed in the East. We’re not favored so we’re going to go in and do the best we can.”

That’s normally pretty good. The Eagles have outscored opponents 26-2 in the playoffs, with freshman pitcher Kai Smith showing how much she has matured.

Bouchard never hesitated in making her his No. 1 pitcher at the start of the season — “With her on the mound, it gave us a better chance to win,” he said — and said she has gotten better each week.

Messalonskee has won 10 straight since Bouchard shuffled his roster and lineup following three losses in four games.

“There was a lot of talent there,” he said. “It was a matter of waking it up.”

In Class B, Fryeburg is making its fourth consecutive appearance in the state championship game. And that’s exactly where the Raiders want to be each year.

“I don’t want to sound cocky, but we want to be playing at the end of June,” said Coach Fred Apt. “That’s our goal every year. And we’ve been fortunate to be playing this late the last four years.

“But I’ve told the girls to enjoy the moment. You never know if you’re going to be there again. We’ve been in the regional final four straight years, against four different opponents, so you never know.”

This could be an interesting game. Both teams rely on excellent pitching — hard-throwing Fryeburg freshman Sarah Harriman and Bucksport senior Abby Yeo — defense and aggressive baserunning.

The Raiders’ experience, said Apt, shouldn’t matter. “I think when you get to this level, it’s different,” he said. “There will be some nerves, but after that first inning it’s just a new game.”

Bucksport Coach Mike Carrier is looking forward to the challenge.

“We’re not going to change anything,” he said. “We’re young (only one senior), but as I’ve said right from the beginning, we stay focused and we never give up.”

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH