Messalonskee High School pitcher Morgan Wills fires a pitch during a June 7 game in Lewiston against Lewiston High School. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Central Maine will be well represented in the regional baseball and softball finals Tuesday.

Fields in Gorham, Standish, Augusta, Brewer and Bangor will be full of championship games.

The Skowhegan and Hall-Dale softball teams will look to get one step closer to defending their state championships in Classes A and C, respectively.

The River Hawks (16-2), the defending Class A champions and No. 2 seed in Class A North, take on rival No. 9 Messalonskee at 6:30 p.m. at Cony High School.

Skowhegan has been on a roll, dropping only one game (a 5-0 loss to Brunswick) in May. The River Hawks have been led on the field by senior shortstop Jaycie Christopher. Junior pitcher Sierra Carey has also been a force.

“Our hitting is coming on (in the second half of the season) a little bit,” Skowhegan head coach Lee Johnson said after the River Hawks beat Brewer 13-1 in the quarterfinals on Friday. “I just think we’ve been a little more consistent as we’ve gone along. That’s kind of what we need to keep working on.”


The Eagles (8-11) have been one of the more surprising teams in the A North tournament. After going 3-11 through the first 14 games of the season, Messalonskee has won five straight, including a 4-2 upset over No. 1 Brunswick in the quarterfinals, followed by a 4-2 win over Bangor in the semifinals. A large reason for the Eagles’ turnaround has been junior pitcher Morgan Wills, who reached 300 career strikeouts this season. She tossed a no-hitter over the Dragons in the quarterfinal round, striking out 15.

Winslow’s Kate Nichols (20) tries to field a throw to tag out Lawrence’s Kylie Elkins in a Class B North semifinal softball game Saturday in Fairfield. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“(A key) has just been my young team getting innings on the field and being able to field at a varsity level and hit at a varsity level,” Messalonskee head coach Samantha Tunningley said. “They always had the ability, it was just getting everything to work together and have our team chemistry start working.”

No. 8 Winslow (12-7) will look to defend its Class B North championship against No. 6 Hermon (8 p.m., Coffin Field in Brewer). After some struggles during the regular season, the Black Raiders have put it together during the playoffs thanks to a strong mix of defense and pitching from junior Emma Michaud. Winslow beat No. 1 Nokomis 6-3 in the quarterfinals, and held off No. 5 Lawrence 3-2 in the semifinals.

“Something kicks when we get in the playoffs,” Winslow right fielder Neveah Duplessie said after the win over Lawrence. “Something pops. We just do so well together. We bond, we support each other so much. It’s so nice to be on a team like that.”

In Class B South, No. 2 Gardiner will have a fight on its hands against No. 1 York (7 p.m. on the University of Southern Maine campus, Gorham). The Tigers (17-2) have won eight of their last nine games, riding a strong defense throughout its run. However, Gardiner has shown multiple times it can provide offense, beating rival Cony 15-4 in the regular season finale on June 1, and cracking 12 hits in a 6-1 win over Fryeburg Academy in the quarterfinal round. The Tigers will need the best of both elements against the Wildcats (18-1), who have scored a combined 43 runs in three playoff games.

Hall-Dale softball players stay loose between innings of a game against Dirigo earlier this season in Farmingdale. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

There will be a rematch of last year’s Class C South softball final when No. 1 Hall-Dale takes on No. 2 Madison (3:30 p.m., Saint Joseph’s College, Standish). Both teams have been near perfect, entering the game with a combined 35-1 record. Hall-Dale (17-0), the defending Class C champion, returns its entire roster from last season and has plowed through the competition, never allowing more than four runs in a game. Hall-Dale has also crushed the ball offensively, scoring 10 or more runs in 11 of 1ts 15 games during the regular season and each of its two playoff games.


Madison (18-1) has its own championship pedigree, winning four Class C titles dating back to 2014, the last coming in 2019. Madison has won 14 straight games, riding the strong pitching of senior Brooke McKenney. The only blemish? That came in a 6-1 loss to visiting Hall-Dale on May 4.

“We’ve got six seniors, but I think our growth (as a team) is bigger than it’s ever been,” Madison head coach Chris LeBlanc said. “Just because we’re also coming in with some unknowns. In years past, we always kind of knew what we had. We had a good group coming back (this year), but we just weren’t sure where we were at. Throughout the year, we’ve had plenty of growth, whereas in years past, there wasn’t room for a lot of growth because we were pretty seasoned.”

In baseball, Maranacook is making its second appearance in a Class C South final in the past four years. The No. 6 Black Bears will take on No. 1 Lisbon at 6:30 p.m. at Saint Joseph’s College.

Maranacook players yell while trying to induce a rally during their turn at bat against Mount View during a May 24 baseball game in Thorndike. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Maranacook (14-5), which last played in a regional final in 2018, has fought all through the playoffs, beating Hall-Dale 3-2 in the first round, and eventually beating No. 2 Sacopee Valley 2-0 in the semifinals. Maranacook head coach Eric Brown noted pitchers Alex Trafton and Tyler Hreben have been key to the Black Bears’ success during the playoffs.

“It’s a talented bunch of guys,” Brown said. “We’ve got some seniors who have been through the program and have been great leaders for us. It’s a good group of guys that have started to understand the concepts that we’ve taught them throughout the season, and we’re starting to see that now. It’s been a process, they’re really buying in right now, that’s what’s really standing out for us now.”

The Black Bears have a test in Lisbon (19-0), which has allowed four or more runs just twice this season.

The surprise of the spring may be coming out of Class C North. The Mount View baseball team (14-5) has won seven straight and 13 out of its last 14. The No. 6 Mustangs will try to carry on its Cinderella season against No. 1 Bucksport (6:30 p.m., Mansfield Stadium, Bangor). According to head coach Brandon Hurd, it’s the first time the program has reached a Northern/Eastern Maine final since the mid-1980s.

“That’s why I took the position (two years ago),” said Hurd, a baseball and football standout at Belfast Area High School in the late 1990s. “I knew the athletes we had here, I knew what we were capable of doing. I just thought with the right (coach) and the right fit, you can get them boys clicking. As of right now, it’s been working.”

Mount View has also received strong play behind the plate by freshman Miles Carter. Having Carter behind the plate allowed Hurd to move senior Draedyn Furrow, the team’s best athlete, out in the field to strengthen the defense. Mount View has had no issues at the plate during the playoffs, scoring 39 runs. Its most recent win was a 16-2 decision over No. 2 Fort Kent in the semifinals.

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