STANDISH — Winning has become a way of life for the Richmond softball team. So have the high expectations that come with it.

The undefeated Bobcats take the state’s longest winning streak into Saturday’s state championship game with Stearns. Richmond is going for its 70th straight win at noon at Coffin Field in Brewer. That streak is all the talk in Richmond and beyond, but the expectations that come with it can be quite a challenge.

“It’s very hard having all that pressure with the record on us and stuff like that, senior third baseman Kelsea Anair said. “We just have to push through, and we have.”

Richmond (17-0) will be playing in its seventh consecutive state title game. The Bobcats have won the past three, including last year’s 9-4 win over the Minutemen. Richmond has dominated Class D South, outscoring opponents 254-25 in the regular season and 31-3 in the tourney. Buckfield has scored 13 of the 25 runs the Bobcats have allowed. Richmond’s last loss was in 2012, a 4-2 defeat in the state game to Penobscot Valley.

“They want to keep playing,” Richmond first-year coach Tony Martin said. “They like to win. They like to play and they like to win. You have a lot of people talking about the streak that the girls have going, but they don’t even talk about it. We go to practice and do the stuff we need to do. We come here and they won’t say a thing about it.  They just take it game-by-game.”

One challenge the Bobcats did have this season was a change in coaches. Rick Coughlin resigned after 29 years and seven state titles. Martin took over, but the Bobcats barely blinked. Martin has been an assistant under Coughlin in recent years.


“It was a smooth transition,” Martin said. “I’ve been with the girls since 2009. I’ve been coming up through and the girls know me from before then. We kind of play the same ball Rick was playing. So it was kind of an easy transition.”

Coughlin was there Wednesday when the Bobcats beat Buckfield 13-2 for a seventh straight regional title. He was even summoned to join the team picture. It seems as though the more things change, the more they remain the same in Richmond. 

With five seniors and six juniors, the Bobcats are seasoned and talented, making it easy for Martin as a head coach.

“They know how to play and that makes it easier on me,” Martin said.

It doesn’t make it easier on opponents. Among the seniors are starters Autumn Acord in the outfield, Anair at third and Kalah Patterson at short. The junior starters include Camryn Hurley at second, pitcher Meranda Martin, Cassidy Harriman at first and Emily Douin in the outfield. Though catcher Sydney Tilton is just a sophomore, she’s one of the top players in Class D.

Martin is an experienced pitcher and the defense around her is solid. The Bobcats threw two runners out on the bases last year against Stearns in the state game, including a key run at the plate in the first inning.


What most foes have been unable to stop has been the offense. With Martin at the top of the order, the rest of the Bobcats batting order only gets more formidable. Richmond cranked out 16 hits in the win over Buckfield in the regional final. Martin had three hits and scored four runs.

“She was on fire,” Coach Martin said. “She can bunt and she can hit for power as well. When she’s hitting for power, it’s fun, but in a game when they’re playing back or having a lefthander pitch, we’re going to bunt all day long.”

Anair, the team’s No. 3 hitter, had two hits and drove in six runs in the regional final while Tilton, the cleanup hitter had three hits and drove in a run. 

“That part of the order, at three, four, five and six, is hitting the ball very well as well is the bottom of the order,” Martin said. “The middle of our order is hitting the ball hard.”

After scoring 285 runs this season, the Bobcats have shown they can hit for power or play small ball.

“That’s the name of the game, we do whatever we can to get on base,” Martin said.


Richmond hopes to keep rolling Saturday with a rematch with Stearns. The Minutemen are 17-2 and have won seven straight.

Stearns has a potent lineup as well. The Minutemen beat Madawaska 12-1 in the North D final and Stearns belted out 15 hits. Junior second baseman Cassidy McLeod led the hit parade with six RBI, including a grand slam. Grace Fontaine had two hits and three RBI while Lauren Jamo hit three hits and drove in a run.

The Minutemen got the jump on Richmond in last year’s game, scoring two runs in the first and had a potential third run thrown out at the plate. Richmond answered in the bottom of the inning with four runs. The Bobcats added to the lead with a two-run hit by Harriman. Tilton finished with three hits for the Bobcats in the win.

Stearns will throw senior pitcher Jessica Girsa, who got the loss last year. She struck out seven and scattered seven hits in the win over Madawaska.

It was a potent lineup that beat Buckfield this week but the Bobcats may look to be a little more balanced against a seasoned Stearns team.

“We didn’t use much small ball (Wednesday),” Anair said. “We’ll probably work on that a little bit. We tried a little bit but couldn’t really get it down. We were hitting the ball well. So we made up for it.”

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