STANDISH — One word can be used to sum up Madison’s performance in Wednesday’s Western Class C softball final — uncharacteristic.

The top-seeded Bulldogs made mistakes in all phases of the game that they rarely made in any one game during the season, and No. 3 Telstar took advantage early and often to pull off an 8-3 upset at Bailey Field on the campus of St. Joseph’s College.

Telstar (17-2) will face the winner of Wednesday night’s Eastern C championship between Bucksport and Mattanawcook at 12:30 p.m., Saturday at Coffin Field in Brewer. Madison, the defending state champion, finishes its season at 17-2.

Tehya Johnson led the Rebels with a triple, single and four RBIs, including a two-run single that helped give them a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first and seemed to stun the Bulldogs.

“That’s one thing we focused on, getting ahead early,” Johnson said. “Last game, we were close. We made one error and they got ahead of us. I think we just came here with a mindset that we needed to get ahead, put pressure on them early.”

“I like being the visiting team,” Telstar coach Jim Lunney said. “You’re nervous and if you make a mistake, no harm is done. But if you can score, then all of a sudden it’s a whole new ballgame.”

Telstar touched Madison pitcher Madeline Wood for 12 hits and took advantage of three Bulldog errors.

The first miscue, a throwing error by the third baseman, allowed Ashley Savage to reach to start the game. After Sadie Ellsworth (three hits) laid down a perfect push bunt for a single, Becca Howard singled to score Savage. Johnson followed with a two-run single.

“We needed to play fundamental softball to win the game and we didn’t,” Madison coach Chris LeBlanc said. “We’ve had throughout the season an inning here or a couple of miscues and then maybe a hit or a walk and then a miscue. But other than a couple of innings (today), every inning something was going wrong. We just didn’t make the plays that we normally make and didn’t do the things at the plate that we normally do.”

Madison hoped to respond quickly when leadoff hitter Kayla Bess singled to start the bottom of the first but was thrown out trying to steal second by Ellsworth.

The Bulldogs seemed to grab momentum in the third, loading the bases on a Sydney LeBlanc single, an error and Wood’s infield hit. Telstar pitcher Olivia York walked Aly LeBlanc to force home her sister.

Bess scored on a groundout by Erin Whalen to make it 3-2, but Ashley Emery popped a bunt to York and Tori McLaughlin grounded back to the circle to end the inning.

“With bases loaded, we even had a couple of miscues there,” Chris LeBlanc said. “We needed to score more than two runs there.”

York essentially shut down the Bulldogs after that, retiring the side in order in the fourth and fifth and allowing just one hit over the last four innings.

“They got their runs and then when there were two runners on, she settled in,” Lunney said. “She’s done a great job all year. The defense has been strong. We made some mistakes today but I think that was a little bit of nervousness.”

Ellsworth and Howard started the fifth with back-to-back singles, then Johnson belted a line drive to right center that just went over the glove of leaping center fielder Sydney LeBlanc. Johnson pulled into third with a two-run triple and a 5-2 lead.

“One of the best feelings ever,” Johnson said. “When people are hitting in front of you, you get that motivation. You’ve got to continue it. You can’t stop it.”

The Rebels added an unearned run in the sixth and seventh to pull away.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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