STANDISH – It wasn’t supposed to start like this.

Not for an undefeated softball team playing in its fourth consecutive Class B state championship game.

And yet there it was. Two walks, an error and an infield single. A jittery young pitcher in the circle.

“I never get nervous before games,” said Fryeburg Academy freshman Sarah Harriman, who didn’t throw a strike until her sixth pitch. “But the first inning I was so nervous. I didn’t know where the ball was going.”

Two close plays at third base, both resulting in outs, lifted Harriman and Fryeburg off the hook. Then it only took the Raiders two pitches in the bottom of the inning to take a lead they never relinquished.

Harriman settled down to retire the final 10 batters she faced as Fryeburg capped its perfect season with a 5-2 victory over Bucksport on Saturday afternoon at Bailey Field on the campus of St. Joseph’s College.

The Raiders (20-0) earned the Class B title for the third time in four years. Bucksport (17-3) returned home with the knowledge it stranded seven runners in the first four innings.

“We have the capability of scoring lots of runs,” said Bucksport Coach Mike Carrier. “If it wasn’t for the first-inning jitters, who knows?”

Bucksport’s first inning unraveled on two plays at third base. First, on an attempted steal of the unguarded bag, Fryeburg catcher Carla Tripp led sprinting shortstop Michelle Rascoe to catch the sliding runner inches from third for the second out.

“She did an amazing job of getting it,” Tripp said, “because I didn’t think it was that great a throw.”

Then, with the bases loaded and third baseman Maggie McConkey back at normal depth, McConkey fielded a chopper and barely beat Bucksport’s Sadie Wight to the bag for the rally-squelching force.

Continuing the momentum, Tripp beat out a bunt on senior Abby Yeo’s first pitch. Sophomore Maddie Pearson scorched the second to dead center for a triple and a 1-0 Fryeburg lead.

“I couldn’t have wished for anything better,” Pearson said. “This game was amazing.”

A wild pitch allowed Pearson to score. McConkey, who was hit by a pitch, made it 3-0 when Bucksport botched a first-and-third steal situation by throwing the ball into center.

The Golden Bucks cut it to 3-2 in the third with help from a leadoff double by Mindy Pye, an error and two infield hits. It might have been more but for two more nifty putouts at third by Fryeburg. After taking a late throw at the plate and being dumped on her backside by a sliding Pye, Tripp uncorked a throw — from a sitting position — to catch Shelby Redmen.

“I wasn’t really expecting it,” said McConkey, the third baseman. “I saw the runners going and I was about to holler ‘Three!’ and then I saw the throw coming. I mean, (Tripp) was sitting down, with her legs straight out. She’s a great catcher.”

Another run scored on a slap bunt by Andie Lawford. Then Fryeburg Coach Fred Apt visited the circle and warned Harriman another safety squeeze was on its way. This time, Harriman fielded the bunt, faked a throw to first, then wheeled and caught the runner from third itching to break for home.

“They’re aggressive,” Apt said. “They play similar to us. They made more mistakes than we did, that was key.”

Each team finished with five hits and two errors. Fryeburg added two runs in the fourth on a two-out single by No. 9 hitter Bri Pelkie, whose line drive sailed just over the glove of the second baseman and scooted just under the glove of the right fielder, allowing both runners to score.

“The dugout exploded (after Pelkie’s hit),” Pearson said. “It was crazy. I think we all secretly knew it was over then.”

Harriman finished with four strikeouts and four walks. Yeo fanned seven, walked two and hit a batter.

“Fryeburg defensively played great,” said Carrier, the Bucksport coach. “They made a few mistakes and we capitalized. We made more mistakes and they capitalized more.”

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

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Twitter: GlennJordanPPH