Cony coach Rocky Gaslin hasn’t even had to tell his players to forget the fact that they beat their quarterfinal opponent, Skowhegan, 12-4, earlier this season.

That victory doesn’t have to be scrubbed from the Rams’ memory because of a loss they can’t erase from their minds. Last year, Skowhegan beat Cony, which was the No. 1 seed, in the Eastern A final, The Rams haven’t forgotten about that loss and the lesson it taught them — that regular season results are meaningless now.

“We beat them 10-0, then they beat us 3-2 in the playoffs,” Gaslin said. “We’re certainly not taking anything for granted.”

Skowhegan (11-5) has plenty of incentive to start strong and keep the game close against Cony (13-3). The Indians did the opposite in their May 11 loss in Augusta, allowing 10 runs in the first inning.

“We’re just trying to give ourselves a chance,” Skowhegan coach Lee Johnson said. “Last game, we got off to a bad start and took ourselves out of the game early.”

The defending Class A state champions have fared well in one-run games (5-2), so keeping the game close and taking advantage of any opportunities it gets against Cony ace Arika Brochu could work in the Indians’ favor.

“We need to put a lot of balls in play,” Johnson said. “She’s a really good pitcher and she can dominate a game.”

Skowhegan could throw junior Kylie Hawkins, who started and pitched five innings in the loss to Cony, or freshman Ashley Alward.

“We’re going to prepare for both of their pitchers,” Gaslin said.

Top-seeded Messalonskee (13-3), which draws No. 9 Mt. Ararat (7-10) in the quarterfinals, isn’t overlooking anyone, either.

“Anything can happen,” Eagles coach Leo Bouchard said. “Anybody that makes that mistake, somebody’s going to capitalize on it.”

Messalonskee swept the season series against Mt. Ararat, 16-1 and 5-0, but Bouchard said the gap between the two Eagles is getting smaller.

“They’re a young team,” he said. “They’re well-disciplined. We played them last year and we saw a big improvement with the from this year to last year.”

All four Western C quarterfinals feature teams from the Mountain Valley Conference — No. 8 Lisbon (10-7) at No. 1 Madison (15-1); No. 7 Mountain Valley (8-9) at No. 2 Hall-Dale (14-2); No. 6 Carrabec (10-7) at No. 3 Telstar (13-3); and No. 5 Monmouth (9-7) at No. 4 Dirigo (11-5).

Lisbon took advantage of several Madison fielding mistakes on May 8 and handed the defending state champions their only loss of the season, 9-7.

“They played a good game. They hit the ball, but we also shot ourselves in the foot,” he said.

The Bulldogs regrouped to win their last nine in a row, clinch the top seed and, for good measure, win the Mountain Valley Conference championship. Players settled into new roles, played unselfishly and exceeded even what LeBlanc had in mind for the regular-season portion of their title defense.

“We had high expectations at the beginning of the year. I didn’t think we would be a top seed,” he said.

In Eastern B, top-seeded Gardiner takes on No. 8 Presque Isle, which beat No. 9 Nokomis 8-4 on Wednesday and has the unenviable task of making the long trip south to face Kristal Smith.

No. 6 Winslow (12-5) got back on the winning track with its 15-3 preliminary round win over Medomak Valley on Tuesday and travels to defending state champion Hermon (14-2), the No. 3 seed.

In Western D, Top-seeded Richmond (16-0) has a bye and will host the winner of the other quarterfinal between Vinalhaven/North Haven and Greenville in the semifinals.

No. 3 Rangeley (6-5) hosts No. 6 Buckfield (9-6). The teams split their first two games this season, with the Bucks winning the season-opener, 9-5, in Buckfield and the Lakers answering with a 12-8 win in Rangeley. No. 7 Forest Hills (6-10) meets No. 2 Searsport (11-5).

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33