STANDISH — Nervous? Why yes, said Lilly Volk. Very.

Funny, the Scarborough High sophomore pitcher didn’t show it.

Volk struck out 10 as top-ranked and undefeated Scarborough defeated Thornton Academy 7-3 on Wednesday night to win the Western Class A softball championship at Bailey Field at St. Joseph’s College. It is the Red Storm’s fifth regional title since 2007 – all in odd-numbered years.

It also avenged last year’s 2-1 loss to the Trojans in the regional championship game. And that made this victory all the sweeter.

“That was part of it,” said Volk. “Redemption. Yeah, we wanted it.”

The Red Storm (19-0) will play Messalonskee (16-3) for the Class A state championship at noon Saturday at Cony High in Augusta.

“We’re so excited,” said first baseman Kaleigh Scoville, “but we know there’s more work to be done.”

The Red Storm backed Volk’s pitching with a relentless offense and an often-stunning defensive effort.

“We wanted to leave the field today without any doubt who the better team was,” said Coach Tom Griffin. “We wanted to try to beat them in all phases of the game and I think we accomplished that. I’m so proud of these girls.”

Scarborough scored three in the first inning, one in the second, another in the third and then two in the fourth. Those fourth-inning runs were huge because they came right after the Trojans (16-3) had scored three times to cut the deficit to two.

But Volk said the three first-inning runs were even more pivotal. “Without them I think it’s a completely different ballgame,” she said.

That’s because she was pretty nervous. “That’s an understatement,” she said. “All those emotions, we lost to them last year and we knew part of it was up to me and I had to bring it. Once we started playing ahead, I knew we were on.”

Scoville drove in the first run in the bottom of the first with a single to center. Abby Murrell followed with a single and both runners advanced on an outfield error, putting runners on second and third. Sophia Burnham knocked in Scoville with a grounder to second. Then Chloe Griffin, who had three hits, singled in Murrell.

Thornton Coach John Provost said he didn’t mind the early deficit. “We’ve been behind all year,” he said. “That’s how we’ve played. I think the girls feel we can come back anytime.”

But Thornton ace Bailey Tremblay struggled with her control and couldn’t hold off the Red Storm. After Thornton got within 5-3 in the top of the fourth on a two-run double by Kaylee Burns and an RBI double by Maizie Lee, the Red Storm regained the momentum in the bottom of the inning.

With one out, Scoville tripled and scored on an overthrow of third. Murrell followed with a double, advanced on a passed ball and scored on another groundout by Burnham.

Then it was up to Volk, who got stronger as the game progressed. She gave up seven hits and walked one. Third baseman Maggie Murphy made two leaping catches of line drives, Volk dove to snag another in front of the plate and Scoville made a couple of sharp plays at first.

“You can tell how much this means by our faces,” said Volk. “This game proves how hard we’ve been working this whole season.”

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

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