BREWER — When the Oceanside and Gardiner softball teams played in the regular season and Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship game, the games were pitchers’ duels. In the Eastern B final Thursday night at Coffin Field, it was a slugfest, with a big edge to Oceanside.
The Mariners pounded out 19 hits, including five doubles, to take an 11-4 win and the regional title.
No. 3 Oceanside, now 18-1, will take on Greely in the state championship game Saturday at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. No. 1 Gardiner ends the season at 17-2.
“That’s a very potent offensive attack. They’ve been hitting the ball a ton,” Gardiner coach Ginger Shaw said.
The Mariners jumped on Gardiner in the top of the first inning. Brooke Dugan opened the game with a double to left and scored on Kannadi Grover’s double. Molly Mellor’s RBI single made it 2-0 Mariners and Paige Tyler singled to push the lead to 3-0.
Shaw wasted little time in making a pitching change. Starter Brittany Rollins faced just six batters before giving way to Kristal Smith. That was planned, Shaw said.
“(Rollins) is coming off an injury in the KVAC game. We were hoping she’d be OK to go tonight,” Shaw said. “She was on a short leash.”
The Tigers got two runs back in the bottom of the first, on a Smith single and Rollins double, but Gardiner couldn’t keep up the offensive pace set by the Mariners.
Oceanside broke the game open in the fourth with three runs, the big hit an RBI double by Ari Curtis.
Tyler had four hits for the Mariners while starting pitcher Rachael Frye had three. Grover hit two doubles and scored three runs and Mellor had four hits, three runs and three RBI for the Mariners.
Gardiner had a late chance to cut Oceanside’s lead with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth. The Tigers scored just one run in the inning and a double play with a runner thrown out at the plate helped squelch the rally.
Bri Brochu and Rollins each had two hits for the Tigers.
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242