OAKLAND — The Edward Little softball team didn’t win a state championship Saturday but it did the next best thing.

Making the most of two hits, the Red Eddies knocked off defending Class A state champion Messalonskee 1-0 in a Class A North semifinal game at Veterans Field.

Fourth-seeded Edward Little (13-5) advances to Tuesday night’s regional final in Augusta where it will meet No. 6 Skowhegan with the winner moving on to the state championship game. Top-seeded Messalonskee finishes its season at 16-1-1.

“This is a really, really, really big game for us,” said Edward Little junior Kylie Bureau, who scored the game-winning run in the second inning. “We haven’t beaten them in a long time and we really wanted this game for our coaches and everyone else on the team.”

With one out in the second inning, Bureau hit a sinking line drive to right field. Messalonskee sophomore Makenzie Charest broke in for a shoestring catch but the ball skipped past her allowing Bureau to take third. Grace Beaudet followed with an infield hit up the middle to score Bureau. That was it for the Eddies against Eagles ace Kirsten Pelletier. The senior retired the side in order in every inning but the second, finishing with nine strikeouts and no walks.

“She pitched a great game,” Messalonskee coach Leo Bouchard said. “You have to tip your hat to EL. We hit the ball, they made the plays. They made a couple or three plays they robbed us on.”

Edward Little senior Sarah Hammond picked up the pitching win, allowing four hits while striking out one and walking two. She escaped jams in the fourth and fifth innings before retiring the final six batters she faced.

“On May 11th, ever since we lost that game (4-2 to Messalonskee) we’ve been wanting to get them back,” Hammond said. “We wanted this so bad.”

The Eagles loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth. Hannah Duperry drew a walk and moved to second on Taylor Easler’s single to left. Katie Guarino followed with a single to right, but Bouchard held Duperry at third.

“When she turned third the ball was already on its way into the infield, to the cut,” Bouchard said. “There was no way I was going to send her. I’m sure people are going to think that I should have.”

Charest followed with a line drive to second base to end the inning. In the fifth, leadoff hitter Madisyn Charest drew a one-out walk and stole second. She advanced to third on a groundout, bringing Pelletier to the plate. Pelletier lofted a deep fly to center field that stayed in the ballpark and was caught by Olivia Jensen.

“The ball KP hit, the wind picked up and pushed it back into the park,” Bouchard said. “If there was no wind that was gone.”

Jensen made an even better play in the sixth when she ran down Duperry’s line shot into the left-center field gap. The Eddies, who played errorless ball, also got a couple of nice plays at third base from Karli Stubbs.

“We had two weeks off from our last regular-season game to our Cony (playoff) game,” EL coach Elaine Derosby said. “We weren’t overlooking Cony, but we knew we had to prepare for two sets of games. We used our pitching machine, we used a different variety of things. We knew coming in here we had to put the ball in play, make them make plays and not make it easy.”

The Eddies, who defeated Skowhegan 6-4 in the regular season, haven’t reached the state final since winning it all in 1997. Skowhegan won the title in 2014.


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