STANDISH — One run, maybe two. That’s all Scarborough High’s softball players were seeking, an insurance run or two to protect their precious lead.

The Red Storm got much more.

Scarborough scored 11 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday to end the Class A state championship game via the mercy rule, defeating Oxford Hills 12-0 at St. Joseph College’s Bailey Field.

The victory gave Scarborough back-to-back championships for the first time in school history and extended its winning streak to 40 games. It’s the Red Storm’s sixth state title since 2007.

“For the seniors, it was big to go out with a bang,” said center fielder Laura Powell.

For five-plus innings, this was a close game. Oxford Hills (16-4) put runners on but couldn’t score against Chloe Griffin, stranding seven over the first four innings. And Vikings pitcher Lauren N. Merrill kept the Red Storm off balance, allowing just an unearned run in the third inning.

But it was just a matter of time before Scarborough’s offense broke out.

“We fully expected to score more than one run in this game,” said Scarborough Coach Tom Griffin. “To her credit, (Merrill) did a great job. We were just able to square her up a little better as the game went along.

“Once we get something rolling, our kids are dangerous. It’s contagious … Once we get a lead and a couple of runs in, things just steamroll. Kids build off each other.”

The Red Storm sent 13 batters to the plate in the sixth inning, getting 11 hits.

“I’m happy we got to do it,” Chloe Griffin said of the back-to-back titles. “We’ve been together since Little League, so this is awesome, getting to end it together like this.”

Emily Jefferds started the big inning with a single to right, bringing up the top of the order. Bella Dickinson singled to the shortstop hole, then Laura Powell slapped an RBI double down the right-field line, making it 2-0. Griffin walked to load the bases, and Hunter Greenleaf singled home Dickinson.

Sam Carreiro hit an infield chopper and beat the throw to first, knocking in another run. Lindsey Kelley made it 5-0 with another single. After an out, Courtney Brochu singled home two runs with a flare to right field. Jefferds came up for the second time and pulled a double into the left-field corner, giving Scarborough a 9-0 lead.

Dickinson singled for the second time in the inning, putting runners on first and third. After the second out, Griffin doubled in two runs, then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored the final run when Greenleaf beat out an infield single.

“With a runner (on third), I knew a base hit would score her,” said Greenleaf, a senior catcher. “That’s what I tried to do, and in the end that’s what I did.

“I’m so proud of this team. We’ve worked so hard for this championship.”

It was a stunningly sudden end to the Class A softball season. Until that outburst, Oxford Hills Coach Cindy Goddard felt pretty good about her team’s chances.

“We got people on base,” she said. “I thought, ‘This is pretty good.’ And it was, until that one inning. They’re good, and sometimes you open up the floodgates and there’s no stopping the floodgates.”

Oxford Hills had plenty of chances early on, leaving two runners on in the second and fourth innings. The Vikings simply couldn’t get a key hit. And the Red Storm didn’t make any errors.

“We work so hard on the defensive end, the girls know they can handle anything,” said Griffin. “One thing we try to do is make sure that we don’t make a mistake. We’re ready to give up a run if we have to, just to keep the game close, because we know we can score runs.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

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