STANDISH – A championship newcomer met a championship veteran Thursday night in the Western Class D softball final at St. Joseph’s College.

Score one for experience.

Leandra Martin struck out 11 and allowed just one hit as Richmond beat Rangeley 4-1 at Richard Bailey Field.

The top-seeded Bobcats (16-1), playing in their 11th consecutive regional final, advanced to their third straight state championship game.

They will play Penobscot Valley at 11 a.m. Saturday at Brewer High School.

“They want to keep winning,” Richmond Coach Rick Coughlin said. “They want to go out a winner. This group is something special.”

Jamie Plummer had an RBI single, Martin drove in a run, and Alyssa Pearson went 2 for 2 with a walk to lead Richmond, which overcame five errors.

Second-seeded Rangeley (13-4) was playing in its first regional final. The Lakers are the only team to beat Richmond this year.

“We did what we wanted to do offensively,” said Rangeley Coach Ashley Quimby. “We just couldn’t get the bats going. It was our biggest struggle. We were a confident group. (Our players) came in here knowing we could beat them.”

Martin struck out at least two hitters in four innings.

“She was getting stronger and stronger,” Coughlin said. “She came through.”

The Bobcats held a 1-0 lead before scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Payton Johnson opened the inning with a single to left before Noell Accord walked. Plummer then blooped an RBI single over a drawn-in infield to put Richmond up 2-0. The Bobcats added two more runs on an error and an RBI fielder’s choice by Lindsy Hoopingarner.

“We’re not hitting as well as I’d like, but we got enough,” Coughlin said.

Richmond broke through in the bottom of the second. Ciarra Lancaster led off with a single, and Rangeley pitcher Chantal Carrier walked Pearson. After a wild pitch, Martin drove in a run with a fielder’s choice grounder.

OLD TOWN 4, NOKOMIS 1: Kendra Hayward struck out nine and threw a five-hitter as the fifth-seeded Coyotes (16-4) beat the sixth-seeded Warriors (13-6) in the Eastern Class B final at Brewer High.

“She didn’t walk anybody, and she threw first-pitch strikes,” Nokomis Coach JD McLellan said of Hayward “Her rise ball was incredible. It was just a quick-snap rise. It wasn’t overpowering, but it broke at the right time.”

Hayward threw 75 strikes of her 92 pitches, and eight of the 17 balls were on 0-2 waste pitches.

Sara Packard also pitched a five-hitter for Nokomis, but the Warriors committed four errors, leading to three unearned runs. Old Town also stole seven bases in eight attempts.

The Coyotes went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first without getting a hit or sending the ball out of the infield. Meagan Cousins led off with a walk, stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and dashed home on a throwing error.

Old Town made it 2-0 in the second. Susie Outman walked, and pinch-runner Kayle Madden stole second. She went to third on a groundout and scored when Brittany Cousins beat out a bunt single.


FOXCROFT ACADEMY 10, WATERVILLE 2: Ryan Rebar allowed just two hits and struck out 11, and the fourth-seeded Ponies (15-5) knocked off the second-seeded Purple Panthers (17-2) in the Eastern Class B final at Bangor, ending Waterville’s two-year reign as state champion.

This game was scoreless through five innings, as neither Rebar nor Waterville’s J.T. Whitten gave an inch. The Ponies finally broke the scoreless tie with two outs in the sixth when Rebar scored on Hunter Law’s bloop single to shallow right field.

After a Waterville error extended the inning, Fryeburg added five more runs. Cody Coiley and Luke Olson each hit a two-run double.

Kaleb Kane broke up Rebar’s no-hit bid with a single leading off the sixth. After Dan Pooler walked, Whitten hit a two-run single to drive home both of Waterville runs.

BUCKFIELD 9, VALLEY 6: The top-seeded Bucks (17-1) scored six times in the third inning on just two hits and held off the third-seeded Cavaliers (9-7) in the Western Class D final at Standish.