SKOWHEGAN — No, this wasn’t a continuation of the postponed game the Skowhegan softball team played two days earlier — but as the River Hawks’ Maddy Morris pointed out, it might as well have been.

Fifty-three hours earlier, Skowhegan trailed Edward Little 2-0 after two innings in the Class A North semifinals before rain led to a no-contest. On Monday, after a three-hit, two-run second inning, the River Hawks once again trailed the Red Eddies by the same score heading to the third.

“We knew we were going to either start over or start where we left off, and technically, we did start right where we left off,” the Skowhegan senior said. “We had to keep that in mind and go with that mindset, and then, once we hit, we knew Lily (Noyes) was going to have our back.”

Noyes did have her team’s back with 13 strikeouts, and Morris delivered at the plate with a two-run triple and double that led to a 4-3 Skowhegan win in the Class A North semifinals. The win sent the River Hawks to Tuesday’s Northern Maine title game against No. 2 Oxford Hills (16-2).

Noyes breezed her way through the first inning, forcing a Kylee Lebrun popout to begin the game before striking out Tiana Avila and Mackenzie Grenier. In the second, though, Leah Thibodeau followed singles by Izzy Jalbert and Alexis Kelsea with a two-run double that gave No. 5 Edward Little (11-7) a 2-0 lead.

Advertisement

In the bottom of the third, though, Morris would have the at-bat of a lifetime for Skowhegan. In a trip to the plate that seemed like it would never end, the second baseman fouled off a whopping 14 pitches thrown by Edward Little’s Kassidy Lobb with the count at 2-2. Finally, at 3-2, she would find the pitch she liked and drive it to the center-field wall.

“That was hard because she still had that one pitch she could throw because it was 2-2, so I was waiting for that one pitch she was going to throw that wasn’t right there,” Morris said. “Then, I kept not getting balls that I could really drive, so I just found the pitch I could hit and took it.”

Lebrun tied it back up in the top of the fifth on an RBI single, but Natalie Gilman responded with what would be a game-winning RBI single of her own in the bottom half. Although Naomi Valcin walked and stole second to begin the sixth for Edward Little, Noyes would fire back with six straight outs to close out the game.

“I just knew I had my team behind me and their support, so I knew I could get it done,” said Noyes, who will be back in the circle again for Skowhegan in just 24 hours. “I just knew I wasn’t going to let them hit. … (My arm) will be ready (again tomorrow).”

Lebrun had two hits for Edward Little, which had five as a team to Skowhegan’s six. Lobb (complete game, three strikeouts, three walks) took the loss for the Red Eddies, whose loss snapped a five-game winning streak in which they’d outscored opponents 41-12.

The Red Eddies wore green hair ribbons and pregame shirts featuring green lettering in recognition of men’s mental health awareness following the death of an Edward Little student, Elliott Hill, who died by suicide June 5. A candlelight vigil for Hill, 16, was held Sunday in Auburn.

Advertisement

The Red Eddies, Skowhegan head coach Lee Johnson said, played like a team competing in memory of their former classmate. After the visitors gained a leg up on the River Hawks for the second time in three days, it took an equally spirited effort from his group to earn a regional final berth.

“I don’t really know (how we pulled it off),” Johnson said. “We got a timely hit when we needed it in a couple situations, and I think that was what really decided the game. That team clawed and battled; it was a great game between two great teams, and it was one of those things where one of us had to go home.

The regional championship game appearance is the eighth in a row for Skowhegan, which split the regular-season series with Oxford Hills with the Vikings winning 11-6 in Skowhegan and the River Hawks prevailing 2-0 in South Paris.

“We’re going in for revenge,” said Morris, whose team fell 4-3 to Oxford Hills in last year’s Class A North title game. “We’re going to give all our energy and all the toughness we can get and just hope it falls in our favor.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.