As significant as their annual regular-seasons meetings are, it is usually the third meeting between Richmond and Buckfield that defines a softball season.

“You kind of start preparing yourself for this,” said Buckfield coach Ken Farrington.

The Bucks and Bobcats face each other in the Western Class D title game for the eighth time, including the fourth time in the last five years. Richmond’s only wins came in 1994 and 2005.

The two split during the regular season.

“We kind of know each can beat one another,” said Farrington, whose club swept the Bobcats last year, including a 5-1 win in the regional final. “We’re two evenly matched teams.”

The Bucks feel good about their chances against the top-ranked Bobcats (15-1). Buckfield lost a heart-breaker to Richmond earlier in the season and then rebounded to beat the Bobcats in Richmond.

In the first game, pitcher Kasey Farrington held Richmond to one hit, but the Bobcats took advantage of five errors and erased a 2-0 lead in the seventh with four runs.

“We had a little meltdown and allowed four runs and they beat us 4-2,” said Farrington.

In the rematch, the Bucks (12-3) escaped with a 10-9 victory at Richmond. Buckfield built an 8-1 lead and fought off a late rally, including the final inning when the Bobcats had the bases loaded with no outs.

The Bucks enter the game wielding hot bats and a comfort playing at Ward Field. Danielle Labbe, Lindsey Neal, Alyssa Henderson, Kayla Jordan and Farrington were all starters last year.

“I’ve got six or seven players that have been down there,” said Farrington. “This is their third year there. They’re pretty comfortable going down there, and they love playing down there.”

Telstar also has history at St. Joe’s. The Rebels have won two straight regionals, and the Class C championship last year. The top-ranked Rebels (16-1) meet Georges Valley (15-2) Wednesday at 3 p.m. It will be the third meeting this year.

“Their coach and I talked, and we both thought we might be seeing each other again,” said Telstar coach Jim Lunney. “I’ll be talking to the kids about the second game. We were a lot fresher, and (pitcher) Candace (Hall) was feeling a lot better.”

The Bucs ended the Rebels string of 33 straight wins with a 7-5 victory in Thomaston in the regular-season finale. It was the third road game in as many days for the Rebels.

The following week, Telstar returned the favor with a 12-3 triumph in the MVC championship game.

“We were really relaxed, and we went in confident,” said third baseman Whitney Mills, who had two hits and three RBIs in the win. “We might have gone in cocky the first time.”

Going into the rubber match, the second win is a significant morale booster. Julia Stambolis and Megan Smith each had two hits and drove in two runs as the Rebels pounded out 11 hits.

“That’s why we wanted to beat them, so we’d know that we could,” said outfielder Josie Reiss. “We knew we were going to see them again.”

Hall has three no-hitters and three one-hitters this year and has allowed 49 total hits, but Georges Valley has 12 against her in two games.

“They’re a good hitting team,” said Lunney. “They’ve got some good hitters. We had a big inning and got ahead of them. Nobody likes to play from behind.”


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