RICHMOND — It’s tough to quibble with the Richmond softball team’s aggressive, small-ball style of play. It’s yielded 48 wins, three losses and a Class D state championship over the last three seasons.

Friday, the Bobcats took another step toward their goal of winning a state title with a 7-1 win against Greenville in a Western Maine Class D semifinal.

The top-ranked Bobcats (15-1) will face Rangeley in the regional championship game Wednesday night at St. Joseph’s College. No. 4 Greenville finishes at 9-7.

The Bobcats excelled in all phases of the game against Greenville. They got solid pitching from Leandra Martin, a number of good defensive plays and the offense put pressure on the Lakers.

“I think I’ve definitely laid down more bunts that hits,” said Richmond leadoff hitter Danica Hurley, who had a pair of bunt singles. “I was happy to see the short game was working for us today.”

The Bobcats led just 2-1 before breaking the game open with a pair of runs in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth. Hurley opened the game with a bunt single and stole second, then scored the first run of the game as Bri Snedeker bunted her to third and Lindsy Hoopingarner bunted her home.

The Lakers, who lost 3-0 to the Bobcats during the regular season, followed a similar pattern as they sandwiched a pair of infield hits around a sacrifice bunt for a run in the second inning.

“We predicted a score kind of close,” Martin said. “They’re a very good hitting team.”

The Bobcats scored the go-ahead run in the second after Martin reached on a fielder’s choice and scored after Noell Acord’s base hit to right got past Courtney Mann. Richmond’s Payton Johnson opened the fifth inning by reaching on an error, then went to third on Acord sacrifice bunt and scored on a wild pitch.

“We work on that and let them know they can go,” Richmond coach Rick Coughlin said. “We’ve tried to be more aggressive.”

Jamie Plummer, who had a pair of base hits, made it 4-1 with a two-out single and drove in another run in Richmond’s three run sixth. The Bobcats played good defense, too. Johnson robbed Miranda Drinkwater of extra bases with a catch over her head in left field in the third and Hoopingarner made a diving catch of Olivia Bouchard’s foul pop behind the plate in the fifth.

Hoopingarner made another nice play in the fifth when she picked up a short passed ball and gunned Lindsy Fenn down at third base on an attempted steal.

“I’ve been lucky to be on some pretty good softball team over the years,” Hurley said, “but I’d say this is the best one I’ve been on both offensively and defensively.”

Alyssa Pearson had a pair of hits for the Bobcats while Kaylee Warman singled twice for the Lakers. Bouchard made the defensive play of the game in center field when she robbed Pearson with a running catch in the fourth inning.

Western D baseball

No. 1 Buckfield 4, No. 5 Richmond 1: The Bucks scored two in the first and two more in the fifth on their way to a Western D semifinal win over the Bobcats in Buckfield.

No. 1 Buckfield improves to 15-1 and advances to play the winner of today’s game between No. 3 Valley and No. 2 Greenville in the regional final on Wednesday.

No. 5 Richmond ends the season 6-11.

Cody White pitched a complete game for Buckfield, allowing one run on four hits.


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