STANDISH — Nothing slipped past Kelsea Anair on Wednesday night, not even an opponent’s missing tooth.

Anair drove in six runs as top-seeded Richmond cruised past No. 3 Buckfield 13-2 in the Class D South softball final at Ward Park on the campus of St. Joseph’s College.

The Bobcats (17-0) will face D North champion Stearns (17-2) in the state final at noon Saturday at Brewer High School in a rematch of last year’s final, which Richmond won, 9-4.

It is Richmond’s record seventh consecutive regional title. The three-time defending state champions have won 69 in a row.

“It does definitely get sweeter as the years go by,” said Anair, a senior third baseman. “It’s hard to stay so pumped up when we have scores like this, but we try to stay in it. And it definitely hits us after.”

Anair had a triple and single, while Meranda Martin, Sydney Tilton and Emily Douin led Richmond’s 17-hit attack with three apiece.

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Martin’s speed got the Bobcats on the board first in the bottom of the first. She beat out a bunt single to lead off, stole second, went to third on Cassidy Harriman’s bunt, and beat Buckfield freshman pitcher Julia Dow’s throw home on a comebacker.

Martin’s second bunt single in as many innings helped spark Richmond’s big second inning. Anair belted a two-run, two-out triple off the center fielder’s glove and Tilton drove her in with a single to make it 4-0.

“The girls came to hit the ball,” Richmond coach Tony Martin said. “It started out early with Meranda bunting on and getting that run in the first inning and the girls all picked up after that. Kelsea had some really nice hits, and that part of the order, the 3-4-5, they’re hitting the ball very well.”

“I try not to think about who’s in front of me or who’s coming up in front of me,” Anair said. “I work on getting myself on base. You’ve got to take it one step at a time. Tony preaches that to us.”

Autumn Acord’s two-run single and Emily Douin’s RBI single widened the margin to 7-0 and chased Dow from the game in favor of Abby Shields.

Buckfield put a baserunner on in every inning except the third against Martin but couldn’t capitalize until the sixth, when Alexis Bennett tripled with one out and scored on an errant throw to second by Tilton.

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Buckfield third baseman Kali Litchfield was hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Kalah Patterson in the sixth. After being tended to by trainers, Litchfield walked off the field under her own power but minus a couple of teeth.

A group of players, coaches and trainers searched near the third base bag for one of Litchfield’s unaccounted teeth, which Anair spied after some searching.

From the circle, Martin, a junior, allowed five hits and no earned runs while striking out three and walking one.

“They want to keep playing. They like to win,” said Tony Martin, Meranda’s father and an assistant coach with Richmond before taking over for long-time head coach Rick Coughlin this year. “You hear a lot of people talk about the streak these girls have going but they don’t even talk about it. They like taking it game by game.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33


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