AUGUSTA — It was that unmistakable sound, a deeper ping that only happens when a metal bat hits a softball exactly the right way, at exactly the right moment. Kristy Prelgovisk heard that sound, and so did Leo Bouchard. They knew what that sound meant.

“I heard the noise, and I knew,” Prelgovisk, a Messalonskee High School senior, said. “I’ve hit a couple of those before, and you hear that same noise and you know it’s going to go over.”

“Both eyes were down in front of the ball, and as soon as it made the sound you knew it was gone. You knew it was gone, and it was beautiful,” said Bouchard, Messalonskee’s softball coach.

They didn’t know Prelgovisk’s first inning solo home run, which sailed over the left field wall at Cony Family Field with plenty of room to spare, would be the only run in a classic pitcher’s duel, as well as Messalonskee’s only hit. Junior pitcher Kirsten Pelletier made Prelgovisk’s blast hold up, and Messalonskee took a 1-0 win over previously undefeated Scarborough in the Class A championship softball game.

Messalonskee (17-3) won its first state championship since 2005. Scarborough finished the season 19-1.

Pelletier allowed just two hits, walking three and striking out 12.

“The girl from Messalonskee did a tremendous job. That’s the best pitcher we saw all year. No question,” Scarborough coach Tom Griffin said. “That was one of our fears going into this. We didn’t see the quality of pitching in our league this year. I thought we could make some adjustments, and we just weren’t able to do it. A great pitcher can dominate a good offense.”

Red Storm starter Lilly Volk was also outstanding. Prelgovisk’s homer was Messalonskee’s only hit, and Volk struck out nine while walking none.

“(Volk) made one mistake. One mistake. She pitched a heck of a game and that team worked hard. They played well together,” Bouchard said.

Prelgovisk said she didn’t know what type of pitch she clobbered for her home run.

“All I knew is that I timed it down, hit it, and it went,” she said.

After Prelgovisk’s home run with two outs in the bottom of the first inning, Volk retired 10 consecutive Eagles. Hannah Duperry broke Volk’s run when she reached on an error to lead off the fifth inning. MollyAn Killingbeck reached on an error with two outs in the sixth, but that was it for Messalonskee baserunners.

Thanks to Pelletier, that’s all there had to be.

Pelletier gave up a single in the first inning to Maggie Murphy and a single to Sophia Burnham to lead off the second, but no more. Just once — in the fifth inning — did the Red Storm had multiple baserunners, but Chloe Gorey was thrown out trying to steal third base, and Scarborough stranded a pair.

Pelletier had a strong fastball and an effective changeup, but it was another pitch she felt was her best on Saturday afternoon.

“Screwball, definitely.,” Pelletier said.

Pelletier and catcher Taylor Easler followed the game plan, and kept the ball low throughout the game.

“Half of these kids from Scarborough pull their heads. We kept the ball down. Keep it down. You can’t see it, you can’t hit it. That’s what worked for us really well,” Bouchard said.

Pelletier retired the final seven hitters she faced, and got Volk to hit a soft grounder back to the circle for the game’s final out.

“This is a team (Scarborough) that scores 10.9 runs per game. (Pelletier) pitches better in warm weather. She pitches better in tough situations,” Bouchard said. “You can load the bases with no outs and she’ll find a way to get three outs for us. She becomes more determined, more focused and more aggressive on the mound when there’s a lot of pressure.”

Before the game, Bouchard reminded his team of the recent state championships that Messalonskee boys teams have won, in ice hockey and baseball. Messalonskee had softball and girls lacrosse teams playing in state title games on Saturday.

“Lately, the boys have been winning championships up at Messalonskee. I told the girls, it’s time for a change. It’s time for the girls,” Bouchard said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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