WATERVILLE — It’s pretty clear the Madison softball team has Oak Hill’s number.

The Raiders just completed one of their most successful regular seasons ever with just a pair of losses, both to the Bulldogs.

Madison put a third blemish on Oak Hill’s record Thursday although this one won’t hurt quite as much or for that matter count in the standings.

The Bulldogs took advantage of Oak Hill errors and timely hitting en route to an 8-2 victory in the Mountain Valley Conference championship game played at Thomas College.

Now it’s on to the playoffs for both teams. Madison (16-0), the top-seeded team in Class C South, faces the winner of Tuesday’s Sacopee Valley-Dirigo game in a quarterfinal matchup Thursday while Oak Hill takes on the winner of a Class B South prelim between Cape Elizabeth and Morse.

“Thank God we don’t have to see them (again),” Oak Hill coach Allyson Ferguson-Collins said. “I wish them all the luck, they’re a quality team.”

Neither team treated this as any more than a tune-up for the playoffs, although both coaches used their starting lineups from start to finish.

“You’re always going to be scrambling at the end of the season to get a scrimmage,” Madison coach Chris LeBlanc said. “I look at it as the two best teams in the Mountain Valley Conference are playing. It could be the only championship you play for.”

The Bulldogs certainly have loftier goals, though.

“It’s obviously good to win,” winning pitcher Madeline Wood said. “Our goal is the state championship and it’s always good to go undefeated into that.”

Wood allowed just three hits but ran into some control problems in the seventh when she walked a couple of batters and the Raiders scored two runs.

The Bulldogs scored twice in the first inning off Oak Hill starter Makayla Nadeau. Kayla Bess led off with a base hit and Wood added an infield hit. But the defense also let Oak Hill down with a mental mistake on a ground ball and an error.

“We came out a little flat and they capitalized,” Ferguson-Collins said. “The last three (innings) we played like we’ve been playing all season.”

Ashley Emery singled home a run in the second to make it 3-0, then the Bulldogs scored three more in the third on a triple from Aly LeBlanc, a fielder’s choice and another Oak Hill error.

One highlight for the Raiders was the play of catcher Emma Hlister, who threw out four runners trying to steal second base.

“I took us out of a couple of innings,” LeBlanc said. “One thing that I’m happy with is the defensive part of it. Good fundamentally sound teams are going to win games.”

The Bulldogs added two runs in the sixth. Emery was the game’s only repeat hitter, while Hlister, Brooke Surette and Sara Noel had base hits for Oak Hill.


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