The 2010 ended in storybook fashion for the Telstar of Bethel and Richmond softball teams, with the Rebels and Bobcats claiming state championships in Classes C and D, respectively.
Those two teams are in position to defend those crowns, with Telstar representing Class C in the state title game for the third consecutive year when coach Jim Lunney’s club battles Dexter at 7 p.m. in Brewer Saturday.
The Class D game will be a rematch between Richmond and Deer Isle-Stonington, slated for a 3 p.m. first pitch at St. Joseph’s College in Standish.
The other state finals pit Fryeburg Academy against Bucksport in the Class B contest, starting at 11 a.m. in Standish, while Scarborough faces Messalonskee of Oakland in the Class A game in Augusta, with a noon first pitch.
Telstar compiled a 14-1 regular-season record en route to the Class C title, defeating rival Georges Valley of Thomaston 5-4 in the Western Maine final in Standish Wednesday.
That game also capped off Georges Valley’s athletic history, as that school is consolidating with neighboring Rockland to form Oceanside High this fall.
The Rebels had to rally from a 4-2 deficit to overtake the Buccaneers, relying on an error and a two-run single by Lyndsay Merrill in the fourth inning.
Senior righthander Kayla Merrill, Lyndsay’s sister, has looked every bit like the ace who orchestrated a two-hit masterpiece in the state title game last spring, and she has two shutouts to her credit during postseason play.
She’ll be challenged by a potent-hitting Dexter club that compiled double-figures in runs in 10 regular-season games.
Class D: Richmond has outscored its Western Maine foes by a 20-2 count in two playoff games, and dispatched Buckfield 3-2 in the regional final.
That contest had plenty of dramatics, with Ciarra Lancaster roping a game-winning, RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Bobcats and Mariners engaged in a slugfest in the state title game last spring, with coach Rick Coughlin’s club outlasting Deer Isle-Stonington 14-12.
Richmond will be challenged offensively by hard-throwing Mariners’ righthander Sydney Outzs, who has two shutouts this postseason, and the Bobcats will counter with righty Leandra Martin.
“She’s not overly fast (velocity-wise) but she can throw different pitches, and she doesn’t walk many batters,” Coughlin said.
The Bobcats feature a potent offense of their own, as leadoff hitter Danica Hurley boasts a .500 batting average and Lancaster and Lindsy Hoopingarner are above .400.
Coughlin’s team is a fairly young one, as second baseman Tara Hurely is Richmond’s lone senior, but many of these Bobcats have plenty of championship pedigree, having won a state title in soccer and playing for one in basketball this year.
“It’s a good group of athletes,” said Coughlin.
Richmond has also made only one error in two playoff games.
“We’re pretty solid defensively,” Coughlin said. “They play as a team. They really care for one another, but defense has been our key.”
Class B: Fryeburg Academy is in the state championship game for the third consecutive year, having lost to Hermon last spring.
Coach Fred Apt’s Raiders compiled an undefeated regular season and defeated Greely of Cumberland Center, Lincoln Academy of Newcastle and Oak Hill of Sabattus to earn a date with East champ Bucksport.
Freshman lefthander Sarah Harriman has been Fryeburg’s ace throughout the spring, and allowed only two hits while striking out 11 batters in the regional final.
She’s expected to be locked in a pitching duel with Bucksport senior righthander Abby Yeo, who has allowed only one earned run all postseason.
Class A: Scarborough is back in the state championship game after a one-year absence, knocking off defending champ South Portland 1-0 in Wednesday’s regional final.
The Red Storm are hoping an odd-numbered year is the charm for them again, as they claimed gold in 2007 and 2009.
Mo Hannan has been lights out in the pitching circle for coach Tom Griffin’s club, shutting down a hard-hitting South Portland team that had scored 25 runs in its first two postseason games.