STANDISH — The standard is set high for Madison High softball. That’s what happens when you’ve won four of the previous five regional championships coming into the season.

And that’s why the Bulldogs don’t panic when things get tight. Top-ranked Madison broke a tie with eight runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to win its third consecutive Class C South softball championship, beating second-ranked Sacopee Valley 15-7 at St. Joseph College’s Bailey Field.

Madison (19-0) will face Narraguagus in the Class C state title game at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Joe’s. It will be the Bulldogs’ 13th appearance in a state championship game, the fifth in sixth years.

“They have been together since 10 and 12 years old, playing together in the summer and making the commitment,” said Madison Coach Chris LeBlanc. “They don’t know any different. Their expectation on Day One is to do just what we’re doing.”

This was a wild game, with the Hawks (16-3) grabbing the early lead, falling behind after Madison scored seven in the fourth, and then rallying to tie the game with an unearned run in the top of the sixth.

“We didn’t stop fighting,” said Brynn Hink, the senior pitcher for Sacopee Valley. “This has been the best ride of my life. We just don’t stop.”

But Madison took over in the bottom of the sixth. Aided by three Sacopee Valley errors in the inning, the Bulldogs scored eight times. The first two runs came in on a throwing error, the third on a single by Aishah Malloy, another on a bases-loaded walk by Kathryn Worthen, three on a triple by No. 9 hitter Emily Edgerly and the final one on a groundout by Ashley Emery.

“When they tied it up, it was kind of nerve-racking,” said Madison senior center fielder Sydney LeBlanc, who drove in two runs in the fourth. “But we knew we had it in us to bring it back.

“We haven’t had as many games like this, where we’ve had to come back. I’m really proud of everybody.”

The Hawks were victimized by an uncharacteristic defensive breakdown in that sixth inning, with two throwing errors and a fielding error in the infield.

“I don’t know what to say about it,” said Sacopee Valley Coach Brian Hink. “We haven’t had more than an error in an inning all season. To have three in one, that’s definitely not what we expect from our team.

“It was a combination of everything. They started getting some hits, getting some runners, pressuring the game. The kids are not perfect. But they played a near-perfect season. Tonight we just made some errors.”

Sacopee Valley opened the scoring with two in the top of the fourth on a two-out single by Alexandra Black.

But the Bulldogs came back in the bottom of the inning, sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs. Sydney LeBlanc and Virginia Worthen each had a two-run single in the inning. Worthen, in fact, had two hits as Madison led 7-2.

Sacopee Valley scored four in the top of the fifth, sending 10 to the plate. Brynn Hink and Haiden Sawyer had RBI singles for the Hawks and two other runs scored on an error.

“We were up then we were down,” said Chris LeBlanc. “Then they persevered and did what they needed to do to take care of business.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH