AUGUSTA — The game was ugly, for both sides. Not that the Skowhegan Area High School softball team minded all that much.

For the Indians, a second straight trip to the Class A state championship game sounds as pretty as it gets.

Alyssa Everett, hitting out of the No. 9 hole, scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning, leading top-seeded Skowhegan over No. 3 Oxford Hills, 5-4, at Cony High School Wednesday night.

The game was sloppy and riddled with mistakes, with the Vikings committing eight errors and the Indians making four. But Skowhegan coach Lee Johnson wasn’t about to quibble about such details afterward, and neither were the players celebrating and embracing each other around him.

“It feels great to come out and get the win,” starting pitcher Ashley Alward said. “It was definitely a battle. They made us work. We definitely didn’t play our best game, but hopefully that will come on Saturday.”

Indeed, it didn’t look like the 5-0 and 12-0 victories Skowhegan posted to get this far, and it didn’t have much in common with the 7-2 victory over these Vikings the Indians had during the regular season. Oxford Hills kept pace with Skowhegan, even taking a 4-3 lead in the fifth, but the Indians tied the game at 4 in the fifth and then went to work on the winning rally in the sixth.


It began with Everett, a sophomore who was on JV when Skowhegan played for the state title last year, smacking the second pitch she saw up the middle. Everett admitted feeling the pressure of the moment, but also knowing that, with the top of the lineup due after her, something big could be in the works if she could get on.

“I was pretty nervous. I was shaking a little,” she said. “But I knew if I got it started, then everyone else would just follow with me. I went up there with confidence, I let the first pitch go, and then I kind of winged it.”

Johnson said he had no intention of bunting with Everett, and trying to force a defense that had struggled all day to make another play.

“My No. 9 batter is a pretty good batter,” he said. “And I know that. That’s why I have her in that position, to be there in front of our leadoff batters.”

Everett’s prognostication came true, with Sydney Ames knocking another single up the middle and, after a flyout, Alward hitting a grounder to short. The throw to first was in the dirt and skipped to the fence, however, and Everett came around to score the go-ahead run.

Skowhegan, with four errors of its own, had trouble holding leads all game, but Alward didn’t let the Vikings sniff a rally in the seventh. She punched out the final two batters on strikeouts 11 and 12, pumping her fist and jumping into catcher Sydney Reed’s arms as the celebration began.


Skowhegan took a 1-0 lead in the first when Ames reached on an infield single, advanced on a pair of errors and came home on Julia Steeves’s groundout. Oxford Hills scored twice in the second for a 2-1 lead, only for Skowhegan to respond in the bottom of the third when Reed singled and scored on an error at short, and then in the fourth for a 3-2 lead when Wylie Bedard singled, moved up on an error and groundout and scored on a passed ball.

The Vikings struck again in the fifth when Madison Day followed an infield single and error with a double down the left-field line, putting Oxford Hills ahead for the final time, 4-3. Skowhegan rallied in the fifth when Reed reached on an error, went to second on a hit by pitch, stole third and came home on a wild throw down to third base.

There was one more rally to go, the last one the Indians needed to return back to last season’s lofty heights.

“It’s always exciting to win a regional championship, but this was definitely an interesting one,” Johnson said. “It’s exciting, the kids are excited. Congratulations to Oxford Hills, they fought us all night long.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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