Gardiner’s Corinne Vasvary slides safely into home as the ball gets away from Cony catcher Abby Brown during a softball game May 7 in Gardiner. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

If Memorial Day is within sight, that means Maine’s high school baseball and softball playoffs are right around the corner — and, historically speaking, that central Maine teams are about to make championship runs.

Since 2010, there’s only been one season (2017) in which a central Maine team failed to capture a state baseball or softball championship. Since then, local teams from Skowhegan to Richmond have hoisted a Gold Glove a total of 23 times.

“There’s definitely some great baseball and softball in this area,” said Monmouth Academy head baseball coach Eric Palleschi. “There’s a lot of talent, and you have some programs that are always there and are going to challenge you.”

Those teams are right there in 2024 as well. With just a few games in the regular season remaining, playoff races are taking shape across all four classes. While some teams have high seedings in the bag, others have work to do as the finish line nears.

Skowhegan is always a contender in Class A North softball, and that’s the case again this spring. The River Hawks (12-1) put themselves within touching distance of the region’s No. 1 seed Wednesday as they beat defending North champ Oxford Hills 2-1 to avenge their only loss of the season.

Messalonskee (8-4), meanwhile, suffered a big loss Wednesday as it fell 10-6 to Edward Little. That loss dinged the Eagles’ chances of a home quarterfinal game as third-year head coach Samantha Tunningley’s team will likely have to beat Mt. Blue and upset Skowhegan in its final two games to move up from sixth to fourth.


“What I’ve liked about this year is we’ve had a few more teams be a bit more surprising, which is nice and exciting,” Tunningley said. “You don’t want to ever go into a game thinking you know what the outcome is going to be. … It’s nice for some of those teams that have been at the bottom of the pack the last few years to be in that top-eight space now.”

In B North, Nokomis is in prime position to claim the top seed for the third consecutive year. Winners of nine straight, the Warriors (12-2) are well clear of second-place Ellsworth with seventh-place Cony (7-7) and ninth-place Lawrence (7-8) also vying for playoff spots. 

After going a combined 34-5 in 2022 and 2023, fifth-place Gardiner is in the B South playoff picture again this year at 9-5. Eleventh-place Oak Hill, meanwhile, is clinging to one of the region’s last playoff spots at 6-6, while No. 13 Erskine Academy (4-10) will likely need an upset of Medomak Valley on Thursday to stay alive.

Nokomis’ Raegan King connects with a pitch and flies out to Hall-Dale shortstop Maddie Coro during a softball game May 11 in Farmingdale. Hall-Dale catcher Zoe Soule is behind the plate. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Three-time defending state champ Hall-Dale (11-2) currently sits atop C South with Monmouth (10-2) in second. Madison (6-7) holds a playoff spot in sixth, while Mt. Abram (3-9) leads Maranacook/Winthrop (2-10) for the eighth and final spot. Maine Central Institute (7-6) is two spots above the line in C North.

Although North Yarmouth Academy and Buckfield have entrenched themselves as the teams to beat in D South, there’s plenty of central Maine representation as well. Richmond (9-6), Carrabec (9-5), Valley (7-6) and Forest Hills (7-6) out of the East/West Conference currently hold seeds 3-6.

On the baseball diamond, second-place Messalonskee has put together a fine season in A North at 11-3. The Eagles have been consistent offensively at 7.0 runs per game and have also gotten better pitching performances in recent games with just six runs allowed over their past four.


“The goal at the beginning of the year is more to win every game than to be No. 1, but realistically, there’s a lot of tough competition in Class A, so what we really want is that home playoff game,” said Messalonskee head coach Eric Palin. “Now, that No. 2 spot becomes important because two home games, if possible, would be awesome.”

To get that No. 2 spot, Messalonskee would likely need to beat Skowhegan in the final game of the regular season. The River Hawks, who currently occupy the No. 3 spot in A North at 9-5, handed the Eagles their worst loss of the year in the form of a 14-1 drubbing back on April 22.

Lawrence (13-2) is less than a single Heal point behind top-ranked Ellsworth in the B North standings, though the former has two games in hand on the Bulldogs at 12-1. Cony is third in B North at 10-4, while Nokomis currently occupies the 10th and final playoff spot at 6-8.

Lawrence’s Cole Quirion gets Skowhegan’s Trevor Austin out at second base and then looks to make a double play at first during a baseball game May 10 in Fairfield. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

Although Western Maine Conference schools occupy the top-four spots in B South, Oak Hill (10-3) has ridden five straight victories to the No. 5 spot in the region. Gardiner (5-9) needs to climb up one spot from 13 to 12 to earn a playoff berth, while No. 15 Erskine (3-11) is on the outside looking in.

Palleschi’s Monmouth team sits atop the C South standings at 13-1, two spots ahead of Mt. Abram (9-4). Fifth-place Maranacook (8-5) and eighth-place Hall-Dale (9-4) are also in playoff positions, as is a 6-8 Winthrop team holding tight to the 10th and final spot after losing six of its last eight.

“I think Class C is unique this year in that there’s only four teams as far as the prelims go, which changes a few things,” Palleschi said. “If you’re the 3 seed, you’re going to be playing a No. 6 that didn’t have to play a prelim game, whereas in the past, they’ll have played somebody. Pitching matchups are going to be key.”

Monmouth Academy’s Kyle Palleschi pitches to St. Dominic Academy’s Ridge Dionne during Tuesday’s game in Monmouth. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

In C North, a Mount View team that’s faced foes from Old Orchard Beach to East Machias this year is currently third behind Foxcroft and Washington at 9-5. No. 12 MCI (4-10) is one spot below the line and will likely need to beat the Mustangs and Waterville in its final two games.

Richmond (11-1), which currently has four batters above the .500 mark and is averaging 14.8 runs per game, is currently second behind reigning state champ St. Dominic Academy in D South. Carrabec (6-5) and Forest Hills (7-5) also occupy playoff spots in sixth and seventh, respectively.

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