WINSLOW — Conference championship games are usually about pride, but there was a little revenge involved in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B softball title game Friday.

Gardiner handed Oceanside its only loss of the regular season which also cost the Mariners first place in the Eastern Maine Class B. Friday, the Mariners turned the tables on the Tigers, getting a two-hit performance from senior pitcher Rachel Frye in a 4-0 victory.

“Our coach says it’s never important,” Frye said of the conference title game. “This year the seniors wanted to win it. It (means) more to the players than the coaches. This is more of a practice for the coaches.”

Frye gave up a double to Bri Brochu in the first inning and a single to Kristal Clark in the seventh. She escaped a jam in the third inning but was otherwise untouchable, finishing with eight strikeouts and three walks.

“I didn’t hit my stride,” Frye said. “That was probably the slowest I’ve pitched all season.”

The Mariners scored a run off Tigers starter Brittany Rollins in the second inning and two more in the third. The Gardiner junior, who beat Oceanisde 2-1 with 10 strikeouts on May 17, wasn’t her usual self. She struggled with her control and was replaced by Smith to start the fourth inning. Rollins struck out three and walked three, all of whom scored.

“She’s very sore today,” Gardiner coach Ginger Shaw said. “She was still sore from (Tuesday, a 7-0 win against Belfast).”

The Mariners ran the bases aggressively, stealing five bases in the second and third innings. Freshman Ari Curtis singled home a run in the second and two more in the third. She also added an infield hit in the sixth to finish with three of Oceanside’s six hits.

“She’s actually put her bat on the ball all year like that,” Oceanside coach Rusty Worcester said. “She makes good solid contact.”

The Tigers mounted their best scoring threat in the third inning when Morgan Carver and Kylee Granholm drew back-to-back walks. With runners on second and third and no one out, Frye got Brochu on a soft liner to short and induced infield popups from Taylor Banister and Smith to end the inning.

“I think we could have attacked the ball a little differently than we did,” Shaw said.

Smith pitched well over the final four innings, allowing a run while fanning four. Gardiner defense helped her out in the fifth when right-fielder Nicole Chadwick gunned down Frye trying to stretch a single into a double.

Both teams entered the game at 15-1 and await the winner of prelim games before playing quarterfinal round games Thursday.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be part of this game,” Shaw said. “We’ve never been in the championship game as far as I’m aware of. It’s a negative that we lost but it’s definitely a positive that we played a quality team like that to get ready for the playoffs.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

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