STANDISH — When it comes to Western Class D softball, there are few things more dangerous than giving Richmond extra outs.

The Bobcats took advantage of six Searsport errors and scored eight unearned runs to secure their fifth straight regional championship thanks to a 12-0 win in five innings over the Vikings on Tuesday at St. Joseph’s College.

“You put the ball in play and make them play it,” Richmond Coach Rick Coughlin said. “For us, they couldn’t do it. They had difficulty playing the ball hit to them, and so we just took advantage of it.”

Fittingly enough, it was Richmond’s lone senior starter, Kelsie Obi, who ended the game with a bloop single to score Kelsea Anair from third in the bottom of the fifth.

Obi is the lone player on the team to have lost a game, a 4-2 defeat against Penobscot Valley in the 2012 Class D championship game. The Bobcats have won 51 straight.

“It’s not that we expect (to win), it’s that we come ready to play every time,” Obi said. “Yes, we know we’ve beaten a team, but that team could have a good day and we can have an off day.”

Richmond jumped ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first when Meranda Martin scored from second on a single from Sydney Tilton, and the following inning Searsport committed five errors, all with two outs, to allow the Bobcats to score six runs. Camryn Hurley, Martin, Anair, Tilton, Obi and Kalah Patterson each came home to push the lead to 7-0.

“We were all nervous that the thunderstorm was coming, so we were trying to rush to try and get it done because we wanted to play,” Obi said. “We came ready to play, we came with our hearts in it.”

Richmond tacked on two in the bottom of the fourth without a hit, as Tilton and Obi – who reached base on a hit by pitch and walk, respectively – scored thanks to a series of passed balls.

Martin, the Bobcats’ starting pitcher, set the Vikings down in order in the top of the fifth and even as the rain began to stop Richmond did not take any chances.

Hurley opened the scoring in the bottom of the fifth with a one-out single, and scored four pitches later on a double by Martin. Anair then singled and took second on defensive indifference to make it second and third, while Tilton followed with an RBI single to make it 11-0.

Searsport then brought its infield in to try to prevent the game-winning run from scoring, but it was to no avail thanks to Obi’s bloop single.

“We settled in pretty good once we got those (six) runs in the second inning,” said Martin, who along with Tilton and Obi reached base in all four of her at-bats. “We settled right in and played hard and played our game. We were all confident the whole game.”

Martin admitted after the game it was a little difficult to get a good grip on the ball due to the weather. She allowed five hits and four walks, and struck out six.

“It was terrible. A couple innings it started downpouring and I thought, ‘Oh, jeez,’ ” Martin said. “I just kept getting a clean, dry ball. Like we said before the game started, ‘if the ball gets wet, get another one.’ ”

Richmond will meets Stearns of Millinocket at 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Joseph’s for the Class D championship.

HERMON 4, GARDINER 0: Hailey Perry’s three-run, two-out homer in the fifth inning of the Eastern Class B final at Brewer helped the third-seeded Hawks (17-2) end dreams of a perfect season for top-ranked Gardiner (18-1) for the second straight year.

Perry went 3 for 3 with a single, double and home run, and drove in all four runs, and Karli Theberge scattered four hits to make Hermon a back-to-back regional champion.

“I hadn’t been playing as well as I wanted to the past couple of games and I just really focused this game,” Perry said. “I knew it was important to stay on top of the ball and make hard contact. I just cleared my mind and I did it.”

Hermon (17-2) will defend its state title against Yarmouth at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Joseph’s College.

“Hailey’s a good player. She sat on a fastball and that gave her the hit,” Gardiner Coach Don Brochu said. “(Hermon) plays a lot. They’re more experienced so they can hit.”


SEARSPORT 13, RICHMOND 3: The second-seeded Vikings (15-4) totaled 10 hits and took advantage of seven walks to beat top-ranked Richmond (14-4) in five innings in the Western Class D final at St. Joseph’s College.

“We tried to piece together our staff. Unfortunately we used our (No.) 1 and 2 (Mike Stewart and Zach Small) in the game before,” Richmond Coach Ryan Gardner said. “We had trouble finding the plate a little bit, and when we found the plate they whacked it. I’ve got to give them credit, they made more plays than we did.”

The Bobcats turned the ball over to Brendan Emmons with Stewart and Small unavailable, and Searsport put the sophomore right-hander in a hole early. The Vikings scored a pair of unearned runs in the first inning without a ball leaving the infield.

“On the bus we talked about coming right out and getting on their No. 3 pitcher hard and scoring some runs,” Searsport Coach John Frye said.

Emmons struck out six through the first two innings to keep the Bobcats close, but in the top of the third the Vikings broke it open with six runs on six hits, including a three-run triple from Barrett Grant, to take an 8-0 lead.