When the high school softball season began in April, this much was certain: it was going to be a different type of season for the two-time defending Class A state champs at Scarborough High.

The Red Storm had to replace seven starters and were doing it with freshmen and sophomores. No one expected them to maintain their level of excellence. And yet …

At 4 p.m. Saturday, unbeaten Scarborough (19-0) will take its 59-game winning streak into the Class A state championship game against Skowhegan (19-0) at Brewer High’s Coffin Field. It will be the fifth time these teams meet in the state game since 2007, with Scarborough winning the previous four.

“We know them very well from over the years,” said Scarborough Coach Tom Griffin. “They’re very well coached, very competitive.”

Three other softball state championship games will be played Saturday. In Class B, York (16-3) will play defending champ Brewer (17-2) at 12:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s College. The Class C game between Dexter (14-5) and defending champ Madison (18-1) will be at noon at Brewer High. The Class D game is a rematch from last year, with defending champ Greenville (16-2) taking on Penobscot Valley (18-1) at 4 p.m. at St. Joe’s.

For Scarborough’s Griffin, this has been one of the most satisfying seasons of his 30-year coaching career. “Give the girls all the credit, they’re the ones who did this,” he said. “It’s been a learning experience. We’ve had our moments, our (preseason) Florida trip didn’t go as well as we hoped, in a lot of different ways. But the kids stayed together, focused together and learned to trust each other. It’s been a long haul but I think we’re in a really good place right now.”

Bella Dickinson is 12-0 for the Red Storm, which plays for its third consecutive Class A softball state title. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

The Red Storm have been led by junior pitcher/shortstop Bella Dickinson, who hit .459 for the season with five home runs, 29 runs, 28 RBI and 10 stolen bases from the leadoff spot. She is also 12-0 as a pitcher. “She is quite an athlete, quite a kid,” said Griffin. “She’s not afraid to take responsibilities and she’s been that way since she was a little kid.”

But Dickinson had plenty of help. Senior second baseman Courtney Brochu hit .490 and has not committed an error. Freshmen Caitlin Noiles (.390), AJ Swett (.373) and Katie Roy (.537) had prospered. Sophomore shortstop Mollie Verreault hit .354 with only two errors.

“They’re good,” said Skowhegan Coach Lee Johnson. “Nobody can deny that. We know it’s a challenge but we’re ready to play.”

Skowhegan, which won the 2014 Class A state title and is in its seventh state title game since 2007, has been led by KVAC Class A player of the year Sydney Ames, who is 18-0 with a 0.63 ERA this year, hitting .439 with 33 runs scored as the leadoff batter.

Freshman shortstop Jaycie Christopher hit .508 with 25 RBI and 25 runs, senior first baseman Mariah Dunbar is hitting .483 with 28 RBI and senior catcher Sydney Reed is hitting .390 with 24 RBI and 27 runs.

In Class B, York is looking for its first state championship since 1989. The Wildcats played in the 2016 state game, losing to Old Town 6-3.

York, led by junior pitcher Abby Orso, came into the season as the favorite in Class B South, but had to rally for three runs in the bottom of the seventh in the regional finals to defeat Fryeburg Academy 3-2.

Abby Orso brings a 14-2 record with a 0.94 ERA into the Class B state title game against Brewer. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Afterward, the York players said that the bright lights of the regional final were a little intimidating, but that they gained a lot of confidence from the comeback.

“I think it reassured us that we can do anything at any time,” said Orso, who pitched a one-hitter with seven strikeouts. “If there’s a time to rally, we can do it.”

Senior catcher Kayla Dredge said,  “We did get a little nervous. But we had to get everybody together to let them know it takes seven innings for a game to be over.”

York Coach Kevin Giannino said the team now knows what it takes to win a championship. “We’ve had contributions from a lot of girls,” he said. “We may have a star pitcher but she can’t win a championship herself. She needs support.”

Orso is 14-2 with 192 strikeouts and an ERA of 0.94. She is also hitting .574 with 11 home runs, 25 RBI and 40 runs scored. Dredge is hitting .465 with 19 RBI and senior third baseman Hannah Gennaro is hitting .426 with 28 runs in the leadoff spot. Senior first baseman Abi Kavanagh is hitting .450.

“We’re ready to go,” said Giannino.

So are the Witches. Brewer had a slight hiccup late in the season, losing two of their final five games. But Coach Skip Estes said the team has come together.

“The (7-6) loss to Hampden was a turning point for refocusing us,” said Estes. “Since then we’ve come back with a vengeance.”

Brewer is led by junior shortstop MacKenzie Dore, who was the KVAC Class B player of the year. She is hitting .524 with five home runs, 31 runs and 29 RBI. Senior pitcher Libby Hewes is 16-2 with a 2.44 ERA and 92 strikeouts, batting .367. Senior catcher Jordan Goodrich is batting .381 with two home runs and Olivia Cattan is hitting .351.