The Richmond softball team will face the same team with the same dominant pitcher they faced last year in the Class D final today at St. Joseph’s College.

The Bobcats are hoping for a much different result this time around.

Richmond (16-0) will face nemesis Penobscot Valley (18-1) and ace Kayla Dube at 3 p.m. Saturday. The teams met in the Class D final last year, which the Howlers won 4-2. Dube struck out 14 and allowed just four hits.

“She throws a rise ball and she throws fast,” Richmond coach Rick Coughlin said. “She’s the best pitcher we’ll see all year.”

Richmond is in the state final for a fourth consecutive year. The Bobcats won the Class D title in 2010 but came up short the last two seasons.

The Bobcats insist they are better prepared for the rematch with Penobscot.

“Our hitting has improved,” Richmond senior center fielder Noell Acord said. “Last year we were swinging at everything. We struggled with her. She was throwing a lot of stuff last year and we just couldn’t hit it. Hopefully, this year we can get a piece of it.”

Dube has been nothing short of dominant this season, as well as in her career. She has 690 career strikeouts in her career and brings a 0.50 ERA into the game.

“She has impressive credentials,” said Penobscot coach Thom Coyle, whose team has out-scored opponents 245-21 this spring. “She has the whole arsenal. She throws a curveball, changeup, rise, drop and screwball. It should definitely be a good game. These are definitely the two best teams in Class D.”

Former Richmond standout pitcher Leandra Martin — who led the team to the previous two regional titles — helped throw batting practice this week.

“Leandra throws super hard so it really helped us out,” Coughlin said. “She’s been phenomenal. I think this year we just have more confidence in our hitting. We have more complete hitters.”

The Bobcats were primarily a bunt-first team last season. They raced out to a 2-0 lead on the Howlers in the first inning of the state game last year.

A bunt single and a few stolen bases helped spark a rally. Coughlin said the Bobcats will need to make regular contact to win today.

“Last year we really relied on the bunting,” he said, “and it helped us win games. But we never could get the big hit when we needed it. I think we can this year.”

Added Coyle: “They couldn’t play small ball with us last year. Once we got ahead, it was tough for them.”

Jamie Plummer will pitch for Richmond. She’s been steady all year and is coming off a perfect game in the regional final against Greenville, a 12-0 victory.

Plummer helped pitch the Bobcats to the 2010 state title game as well.

“She’s been pretty incredible,” Coughlin said. “We have a lot of confidence in her. We want revenge. The last time we won it they were all freshmen. The last time Jamie pitched was her freshman year. This would be a good way to end the season and her career.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.