The Thornton Academy and Wells softball teams have already gone further this postseason than any previous team in each program’s history, but today, both the Trojans and the Warriors have a chance to add one more piece of hardware to their respective school’s trophy case.

After each winning Western Maine regional titles ”“ Thornton in Class A, and Wells in Class B ”“ for the first time in school history, the Trojans and Warriors will look to add state championship trophies to their haul this year.

Thornton will match up against Eastern Maine champion Skowhegan at St. Joseph’s College in Standish, on the same field the Trojans beat Scarborough in the regional final. The Indians, like the Trojans, entered the playoffs as the No. 2 seed and beat No. Cony 3-2 in the Eastern regional final.

But unlike the Trojans, the Indians made it to eh state title game by the skin of their teeth, winning three one-run games to get there. Thornton won comfortably in its first two games, although the final score wasn’t a good indicator of the competitiveness in both games.

Skowhegan’s roster is mostly a mix of seniors (6) and sophomores (8), with a junior mixed in as well.

The Indians’ offense proved to be a tough out late in the season, save for a 3-2 loss to Cony, much like the Trojans in their season-ending winning streak.

Skowhegan was aggressive at the plate in its regional final win, swinging at a high percentage of first pitches.

That could play into the hands of the Trojans, who don’t mind starting pitcher Bailey Tremblay throwing strikes. The Thornton defense also was at its best in the regional finals; something head coach John Provost said after the game would need to continue.

“Today we made the plays,” Provost said after the regional final, “and we’re going to need to make some plays Saturday.”

The Warriors will face a Hermon team in the Class B state title game that took a similar path to the state final. The Hawks, also the No. 3 seed in their region, defeated a top-ranked and undefeated team ”“ Gardiner ”“ in the regional final, just as Wells defeated Cape Elizabeth.

The Hawks and the Tigers hadn’t met during the regular season, as they play in different conferences, but Hermon did get to make due for a regular-season defeat when they beat No. 2 Old Town in the Eastern semifinals. The Coyotes were also undefeated entering that game and had beat Hermon to end the regular season ”“ one of just two losses for the Hawks.

But while the path to the title game may be similar, the respective teams aren’t. Wells has nineseniors on its roster, while Hermon has just two.

The Hawks do have a similarity to Cape Elizabeth, in that they feature two pitchers prominently ”“ left-hander Karli Theberge and right-hander Allessa Oakes. Both are sophomores, of which the Hawks have five, as well as four freshman.

The two-headed pitching monster probably hasn’t faced a hitter like Wells’ Jordan Agger, however, who is coming off a three-homer game in the Western regional final

The high-scoring Hawks, who scored at least six runs in each of their three playoff games, also must try to find success against Warriors starting pitcher Lauren Bame, who allowed just five hits to Cape Elizabeth in her last outing.

Wells certainly has the edge in experience, even if the state title game is uncharted territory. Many of the players of the Warriors roster played in the regional final in girls basketball, so they know how to deal with big stage.

Wells head coach also said that “this was going to be the year” for the Warriors to make a run if they ever were, with all the senior leadership, and that the senior class wants to make a mark before they leave the school.

The Warriors have a chance to make that mark when they clash with the Hawks at Brewer High School this afternoon.

“Our game plan was the long haul from start to finish,” said Fox. “Not one and done, not make it to the playoffs, it’s win a championship, and we’re one step closer to that.”

History could be made today for two local softball teams in search of their first state titles. I’m sure both Thornton Academy and Wells High School can make room for another trophy in their respective trophy cases.

Staff Writer Wil Kramlich can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 323 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @WilTalkSports.



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