SKOWHEGAN — It started with Mikayla Toth’s single to lead off the game and it never stopped. The Skowhegan Area High School softball team went into the Class A state championship game as a team known for hitting. Against Thornton Academy of Saco, the Indians cemented that reputation.

Skowhegan pounded out a dozen hits, including three doubles, to take a 7-3 win and its first state championship since 1993.

“We knew we were going to have to hit the ball. We knew they could swing the bat,” Skowhegan coach Lee Johnson said. “It was going to take us hitting the ball the way we know we’re capable of. You saw, we hit the ball pretty well.”

Every player in the Indians’ starting lineup reached base at least once. The state runner-up last season, Skowhegan ends the season 16-4. The Trojans also finished 16-4.

Toth led off the game with a sharp single to left field and with one out scored the game’s first run on Andrea Quirion’s double off the left field wall. Two more runs scored on a throwing error, and Emma Fitzgerald doubled to left to give the Indians a 4-0 lead.

“We try to bring energy right from the beginning of the game. We’re just trying to get base hits. When we do that, we connect with the ball really well,” Toth, who scored another run in the second inning, said. “A lot of our games this season that we’ve played well in, we’ve started off high and excited, ready to go, a lot of energy. That’s most important, to get into the game.”

Kaitlyn Therriault pitched well for Skowhegan. While the Trojans had a baserunner in each inning, Therriault (eight hits and five walks with two strikeouts) worked out of jam after jam. Thornton scored a pair of runs in the second inning to cut Skowhegan’s lead to 5-2. The Trojans loaded the bases with nobody out in the second, but on Aleisha Cross’ fly ball to left field, Brooke Cross tried to tag up and score from third base. Cross stumbled coming off the bag, Morgan Buker’s throw from left was a strike to catcher Andrea Quirion, and Cross was tagged out for a double play.

“You’ve got to have some bounces go your way as well. You’ve got to be more than good,” Johnson said. “I was afraid at that point they were getting the momentum, but I think we came out and answered the call.”

Taylor Johnson’s two-run single in the top of the fourth inning pushed Skowhegan’s lead to 7-2.

“Our whole season has been working under pressure, just trying to keep our heads up and keep going,” Toth said. “Don’t let anything get us down. If worst comes to worst, we just get our bats going and keep hitting.”

Thornton pitcher Bailey Trombley kept the Indians scoreless over the last three innings, but her teammates could muster just a single run in the fourth, when Keira Fitzgerald scored on a fielder’s choice.

“(Trombley) threw a really good changeup. She mixed it up well, we just looked to get ahead in the count,” Toth said.

Eliza Bedard had three hits for the Indians, while Taylor Johnson and Emma Fitzgerald each had two. Brooke Cross and Libby Pomerleau each had two hits for the Trojans.

A veteran team, Skowhegan graduates six seniors.

“There’s a lot to be said for having seniors,” coach Johnson said. “We have six seniors on the team and they showed some leadership and tremendous grit, that’s for sure.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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