SKOWHEGAN — Lindsey Warren and Wylie Bedard play next to each other in the field, Warren at third base and Bedard at shortstop. They often hit back-to-back in the middle of the Skowhegan Area High School softball team’s lineup, too. Heck, they’re even one number apart on the Skowhegan roster, with Warren No. 14 and Bedard No. 15.

“They do a great job on the left side of the defense, for sure, and they’re scrappy little hitters. They find a way to compete at the plate every time,” Skowhegan coach Lee Johnson said of the Warren-Bedard tandem.

The junior co-captains have played a lot of softball together and are a big reason why the Indians are playing in the Class A state championship game for a second straight year. Skowhegan (17-2) will face Scarborough (19-0) Saturday at noon at Cony High School in Augusta.

“They’re a good team. There’s no question about it. We think we’re a good team, too,” Johnson said.

Warren and Bedard have each come up big in the playoffs for the Indians. In Wednesday’s 5-4 win over Oxford Hills in the regional final, Bedard scored a run to give Skowhegan a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning. In the Indians’ 12-0 regional semifinal win over Bangor, Warren had a pair of hits and drove in two runs. Warren hit an RBI double and scored a run in a 5-0 quarterfinal win over Cony, while Bedard added a single.

“Wylie hits a lot of line drives. In the game (Wednesday), she hit one right back to the pitcher, and the girl made a great play. She hits the ball hard, so I know if I’m on base, I’m moving on to the next base if she’s up to bat,” Warren said.

Bedard said Warren, Skowhegan’s cleanup hitter, thrives coming to the plate in pressure situations.

“That’s why she’s the fourth hitter. When we have a lot of girls on base, we know she can get us all home,” Bedard said.

Added Johnson: “They always seem to put the ball in play. They always put a good swing on the ball. They do their part to help us offensively, that’s for sure.”

Warren estimated she and Bedard have played softball together since they were 10 years old. That experience comes in handy, especially in playing the left side of the infield next to each other. The third baseman’s job is to get to every ball she can reach, and Warren does a good job cutting off many ground balls before they get to Bedard at shortstop.

“You get to it quicker than she does. There’s a lot of fast girls in our league,” Warren said. “Usually I try to cut it off, and (Bedard) comes behind me. I know she’s got my back.”

Playing alongside Warren for so long, Bedard knows her teammate’s range as well as she knows her own.

“We’ve been playing together since we were really little so I’m comfortable with her next to me. I know if she doesn’t get it, I’ll get to it. We’re just a good team,” Bedard said.

Despite repeating as North regional champion, Skowhegan is a young team. The Indians roster features no seniors. Warren and Bedard are two of four juniors. They agree the run through the Class A North tournament showed the team’s growth. Warren said the 12-0 win over Bangor was the offensive breakout the team needed.

“Our confidence is there now,” Warren said.

For Bedard, the key moment in the playoffs was the comeback over Oxford Hills on Wednesday night. Trailing 4-3, the Indians tied the game in the fifth inning and scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth.

“It showed how much we can dig in and pull it out. We work together as a team really well,” Bedard said. “I think we’re hitting really well. We’re just a lot more confident at the plate.”

Johnson praised Warren and Bedard for their leadership on a team without much varsity experience.

“They’re upperclassmen on a team that’s really young, and captains. They’ve had a great year,” Johnson said. “The whole team, they’ve spent a lot of time together, for the most part. They’ve played together through the youth levels up through. They do know each other quite well.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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