The senior third baseman had two hits, scored three runs and drove in six to pace her unbeaten team to a 13-2 win over Buckfield in the Class D South championship at Bailey Field at St. Joseph’s College. It is the seventh straight regional title for Richmond, which has now won 69 straight games.

“I don’t think I’ve hit that well in a long time,” Anair said.

Richmond goes for its fourth straight state title against Stearns on Saturday in Brewer.

Richmond (17-0) cranked out 16 hits and broke the game open with seven runs on eight hits in the second inning. Meranda Martin had three hits and scored four runs while Sydney Tilton and Emily Douin each had three hits and drove in a run.

“We put it in play,” Richmond coach Tony Martin said. “They’ve got to play it and that’s what it’s all about. The girls can hit the ball. We started out early. We put the bunt down in the first inning and after that, the girls were all picked up and were able to hit. It’s fun softball when they’re on.”

It was a fine effort for Buckfield (15-4). The Bucks avoided the mercy rule and even scored a couple runs. Junior third baseman Kali Litchfield was hit in the head by a hard-hit ball in the sixth and left the game with missing teeth and a possible broken jaw. But she walked off the field and her Bucks displayed similar spunk through the loss.

Advertisement

“Our goal all year was to get to this game because the girls have never been here before,” Buckfield coach Sandy Albert said. “We just wanted to play here at Saint Joe’s and that was our biggest goal. We had nothing to lose coming in. We played a seven-inning game and we scored some runs off them. The girls never gave up.”

It was the first regional final for the Bucks since 2011. Buckfield only has four seniors and started two freshmen.

Abby Shields had a pair of hits while Alexis Bennett, Hannah Shields and Abby Fogg also had hits. The Bucks were error-free through the first six innings and got some nice plays in the field from Litchfield at third and Bri Damon at first. Marie Robertson made a nice play at third after coming in for Litchfield late in the game.

“We did really well,” Albert said. “We had a freshman pitcher (Julia Dow) and had a freshman behind the plate (Hannah Shields).”

Richmond got the lead in the first inning when Martin led off with a bunt hit and later scored on an Anair fielder’s choice.

In the second, the Bobcats broke the lead open with seven runs on eight hits. That chased Dow, who was replaced by junior Abby Shields. Anair tripled in a pair. Sydney Tilton and Autumn Acord followed with RBI singles. Then Emily Douin had an RBI hit to make it 7-0.

Advertisement

“That part of the order can hit the ball really well,” Martin said of his No. 3, 4 and 5 hitters. “That middle of our order hit the ball hard.”

In the third, Anair plated her fourth run with a sacrifice fly. Richmond loaded the bases in the fourth. Dow returned to pitch and the Bobcats only scored once. Cassidy Harriman walked in a run to make it 9-0.

“We worked really well on our hitting” Anair said. “I think that takes priority sometimes over our defense. We have solid hitters on our team and we worked on that to get us to this point.”

Buckfield got two back in the sixth. Alexis Bennett tripled and scored on an error on a Hannah Shields steal. Then Shields scored on a Damon fielder’s choice.

Richmond added four more runs in the sixth. Anair singled in a pair. Harriman scored on an error and Patterson had an RBI hit when her hard liner hit Litchfield. She slumped over as if she were knocked out. Coaches and medical personnel rushed to her and after a few moments, she was able to walk off the field. Coaches and teammates returned to the field after the inning to find one of her lost teeth.

After the game’s completion, the Richmond team went over to the Buckfield dugout to see Litchfield.

“They did really well,” Albert said of Richmond, which beat Buckfield 13-9 and 14-2 during the regular season. “They hit really well, and they’re a very good team. They’re tough. If we get a little more experience, we’ll be tough. We never give up and we never gave up.”

[email protected]


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.