STANDISH — Championship newcomer met championship veteran Thursday night in the Western D softball final at St. Joseph’s College.

Score one for the veteran.

Leandra Martin struck out 11 and allowed just one hit to lift Richmond past Rangeley 4-1 at Richard Bailey Field on the campus of St. Joseph’s College.

“We had to come out hard,” Martin said. “I was feeling good. I just had to hit my spots.”

The top-seeded Bobcats (16-1), playing in their 11th consecutive regional final, advanced to their third straight Class D state championship game.

They will play either Penobscot Valley in the state title game Saturday at 11 a.m. at Brewer High School.

“They want to keep winning,” Richmond coach Rick Coughlin said. “They want to go out a winner. This group is something special.”

Jamie Plummer had an RBI single, Martin drove in a run and Alyssa Pearson went 2 for 2 with a walk to lead Richmond, which overcame five errors to beat the Lakers (13-4).

“We did what we wanted to do offensively,” said Rangeley coach Ashley Quimby, whose team was playing in its first-ever regional final. “We just couldn’t get the bats going. It was our biggest struggle. We were a confident group. They came in here knowing we could beat them.”

Rangeley is responsible for the lone Richmond defeat, but Martin and company made sure it wouldn’t happen again. She struck out at least two hitters in four innings.

“She was getting stronger and stronger,” Coughlin said. “She came through.”

The Bobcats led 1-0 when it scored three key insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth. Payton Johnson opened the inning with a single to left before Noell Accord walked. Plummer then blooped an RBI single over a drawn-in infield to put Richmond up 2-0. The Bobcats added two more on an error and an RBI fielder’s choice by Lindsy Hoopingarner.

“We’re not hitting as well as I’d like, but we got enough,” Coughlin said.

Richmond broke through in the bottom of the second inning. Ciarra Lancaster led off with a single before Rangeley pitcher Chantal Carrier walked Pearson. A wild pitch moved both runners in scoring position before Martin helped her own cause, driving in a run with a fielder’s choice.

Carrier worked out of the jam by striking out Johnson and Accord to end the inning.

Richmond also threatened in the fourth, putting runners on first and second, but again Carrier wiggled out of the jam thanks to a few popouts. Rangeley scored its run on an error in the top of the seventh inning.

It had just three runners reach scoring position.

“We just never got that one bit hit,” Quimby said.

The Bobcats rolled into the final with some gaudy offensive numbers.

They had out-scored the opposition 192-17. They scored at least 10 runs in all but four games. They had been scored upon in just six games.

But Carrier and the Lakers wanted to make their fourth meeting of the season a close one, and that’s just what they did.

Pitching to both sides of the plate and mixing speeds effectively, Carrier kept the Bobcats in check.

She retired the side in order in the first and third innings.

While Carrier was efficient, Martin was overpowering.

“(Martin) wanted to prove that you better fear (her), too,” Coughlin said. “She can pitch.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.