SCARBOROUGH — Tom Griffin, the Scarborough High softball coach, tries to make sure his players are ready for any situation. So he puts them through a variety of drills in practice each day.

Among them is one he calls “bomb the first baseman.”

It’s really simple. “One after another, the other kids rifle the ball at her,” said Griffin. “And they throw bad balls – in the dirt, high, wide. We want our first basemen to catch and react. It’s a great way to get them so that they don’t have to think so much.”

For junior Kaleigh Scoville, the drills are just another step toward becoming an outstanding first baseman. A center fielder last year and a second baseman before that, Griffin moved Scoville to first base this year.

And, he said, “she stepped up and made us a better team.”

That’s saying a lot. The Red Storm take a 19-0 record into the Class A state championship game at noon Saturday against Messalonskee (16-3) at Cony High in Augusta. Scarborough is going for its fifth state championship since 2007 – the others all achieved in odd-numbered years (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013).

Even at practice Thursday, as the Red Storm ran through a bunting drill, Griffin was teaching Scoville. With a runner on third, she fielded the bunt, got the tag out, then ran toward third base to force the runner back. After the runner returned safely, Griffin explained that had she thrown the ball as soon as the runner retreated, she would have gotten a double play.

Scoville nodded, another lesson learned on the practice field.

“It’s obviously different coming in from center filed,” said Scoville. “It’s a lot closer to the plate. It took some getting used to.

“It was difficult at first but they really helped me. If I had any questions, they were really patient with me.”

Scoville simply wants to make sure she’s in the right position for every play. Griffin knew she had the athletic ability to play the position and he loved her size (5-foot-11).

“Any ball I throw at her, most likely she’ll get, 99.9 percent of the time, she’ll get it,” said third baseman Maggie Murphy. “I have so much trust in her. And she makes those key smart plays, like the other night.”

Murphy was talking about a play in Wednesday’s 7-3 Western Class A championship victory over Thornton Academy. In the sixth inning, she came off the bag to snare a high throw, then tagged the runner in one sweeping motion.

“She knows what she’s doing,” said Murphy.

Then there was the play end the regional semifinal 6-5 win over Biddeford. With a runner on first, Scoville dove to make a diving catch of a line drive and tagged the base for a game-ending double play. She credited that to practice repetitions.

Those are just more examples why Scarborough continues to dominate Class A softball. “They really just do all the little things right,” said Thornton Academy Coach John Provost. “They move runners along, they take the extra base if you bobble the ball, they’re aggressive.”

Griffin said it all comes back to practice. “It’s about preparation. It’s little things, like how to move your feet, fielding techniques, how to take a throw when you’re covering the bag, how to throw a ball when you’re charging it so you’re not off balance.”

But Scoville is more than just a defensive stalwart for the Red Storm. Hitting in the third spot in the batting order, she has been a big run producer. A line-drive hitter, Scoville hit .520 in the regular season with two home runs, 21 RBI and 18 runs. This from someone who didn’t get to hit much as a sophomore.

“She just worked really hard in the offseason,” said Griffin. “She was willing to invest the time and energy.

“We knew last year she was going to be a big part of our program; she was on that 10th-player thing last year. We knew she was going to be a good player but we didn’t know she was going to be such an explosive, dynamic player that she became.”