Local players to watch: Crystal West, Sr. P, Oxford Hills (12-4), Anna Winslow, Jr. 1b, Oxford Hills (.453, four home runs), Annika Kahkonen, Jr. C, Oxford Hills (.388), Shannon Fillebrown, Jr. OF, Oxford Hills (.468); Kennedy Hubbard, Sr. OF, Edward Little (.547, 29 hits, 17 runs), Danny Rock, Sr. SS, Edward Little (.365, 13 RBI), Kory Norcross Sr. 1b, Edward Little (.381), Calli Murray, Jr. 2b (.395), Sarah Hammond, Soph 3b, Edward Little (11 hits, 12 runs); Kiana Thompson Sr. OF, Mt. Blue, Mandi Currier, Sr. P, Mt. Blue, Addie Brinkman, Jr. 1b, Mt. Blue, Caitlin Kane, Soph OF, Mt. Blue, Lauren Guppy, Soph SS, Mt. Blue.

Favorites: Cony was looking pretty formidable until the last two games of the regular season. The Rams stumbled at the finish line with a 5-4 loss to Messalonskee and a 12-10 loss to Lawrence. Cony had allowed just 21 runs prior to those last two games and had 10 games in which they had held opponents to one run or less. Arika Brochu is the ace and one of the top pitchers in the field and the Rams are an experienced club around her.

Skowhegan lost two close ones to Cony, including a 3-2 game late in the regular season. The Indians are the defending Eastern A champs. Skowhegan is a formidable hitting team, scoring runs in double digits in nine games. The Indians also had seven shutouts and allowed only one or two runs in four other games. Kaitlyn Therriault is an experienced hurler and has a sound defense around her. There’s a potent offensive lineup including Andrea Quirion, Morgan Buker, Eliza Bedard and Mikayla Toth.

Like Cony, Skowhegan has had a stumble here or there, but the Indians are an experienced and veteran club that has proven itself on this stage.

Dark horses: Bangor lost its three games by an average of just three runs, losing to Oxford Hills and Messalonskee by a single run. The Rams also beat Cony and played tough in a 10-5 loss to Skowhegan.

Oxford Hills opened the season with a thumping by Skowhegan but then won five straight. The Vikings even beat Skowhegan in the rematch. Oxford Hills also finished the regular season with another five-game winning streak. The Vikings have grown tremendously since that opening day loss and have proven themselves against some of the top teams in Eastern A.

Prediction: Cony

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