STANDISH — You can hit against the Richmond High School softball team. With a little small ball and some timely knocks, you might even be able to send a few runs across.

You’ll just have a tough time scoring enough.

It was the same old offensive story in Tuesday’s Class D South regional final against Greenville, and the Bobcats kept on raking. A two-run blast from Sydney Underhill-Tilton and a three-run triple from Bryanne Lancaster were two of many hits that gave Richmond its 88th straight win, 14-6, and 14th consecutive regional title.

It wasn’t Meranda Martin’s sharpest outing in the circle and she certainly wasn’t helped by a few errors in the field, but when it came down to it, the Richmond (18-0) baserunners kept rounding the bags.

“We did what we needed to do,” Richmond coach Tony Martin said.

Meranda Martin was walked on five pitches to start the game and quickly stole two bases in front of Camryn Hurley in the two spot. Hurley walked as well and swiped second before Underhill-Tilton bounced a two-RBI single into center field to make it 2-0.

A few batters later, Emily Doun was struck by a pitch and loaded the bases for Lancaster, who laced a two-run single off the glove of Greenville first baseman Amber Benway to double the score.

Then, in the second frame, after Martin was thrown out rounding second base, Hurley walked again and scored when Underhill-Tilton lifted one over the center field fence to make it 6-1.

“The energy was there all game long,” Underhill-Tilton said. “We got here early. We got here when there was no one here, so we were right in our element and that carried and showed throughout the whole game.”

More runs were on the way in the fourth, and after Greenville made it a one-run game in the top half, Richmond needed them. Martin reached on an error and Hurley laid down a pitch-perfect bunt to set up Underhill-Tilton again, who smacked another RBI single through the infield to make it 7-5. Hurley later scored on a sac-fly and with the bases juiced, it was again Lancaster clearing them with a sharp triple to center to bust the score open.

“Bry Lancaster, bottom part of the lineup, she came through big today,” Martin said. “The bottom part of my lineup, they’re all hitting the ball and hopefully we keep that going.”

“Coming back like that really shows what we can do,” Underhill-Tilton said.

Halle Pelletier and Lilly Pelletier split time pitching for Greenville, striking out eight batters over six innings. In 13 at-bats against the top three of the Richmond order, however, the pair managed just two outs.

“We’re some lucky to have them three,” Martin said. “Syd, she’s money in the bag most of the time. Meranda, nine times out of 10, she’s going to be on. Camryn, she’s the same way. It’s nice to have them there.

“We hit the ball and score runs, yeah, they can score a few runs. We’ll let them. But we need to score runs too. The girls hit the ball well.”

Bloopers

Martin started red hot for Richmond in the circle, striking out the first four Greenville batters she faced. But with one down in the second, Halle Pelletier struck a triple into center field and started a long list of balls just out of reach. Pelletier scored on a bunt from Morgan Noyes and then in the third, an RBI single from Emily Vaux made the score 6-2.

Noyes hit a bloop double into left field to start a rally in the fourth inning, before a pair of errors loaded the bases for Jessica Pomerleau at the top of the lineup. With an 0-2 count, Pomerleau got under one and popped it up into shallow center field, where it fell and brought two more runs across.

“They hit the ball in no-man’s land a lot of times and we just couldn’t get there to get that out,” Martin said.

“Mandy always does her job,” Underhill-Tilton said of Martin. “I’m always there behind the plate to back her up. It’s really hot, so all the elements are kind of working against you, especially little bloopers like that, you can’t really get to it.”

Martin lasted four innings and fanned five Lakers before she switched positions with Underhill-Tilton in the fifth. Halle Pelletier reached and made it to third on a throwing error and scored on an RBI groundout from Noyes to round out Greenville’s scoring.

From then on, Underhill-Tilton was lights out, striking out five of the last eight batters she faced to end the game. At the plate, she finished 3-for-4 with five RBIs. Lancaster also drove in five while going 2-for-4 and Mackenzie Abbott had an RBI single in the fourth inning.

It’s now on to the Class D Championship, where Richmond will be eyeing its fifth straight title. To the players, though, it simply means one thing.

“That we keep playing softball,” Underhill-Tilton said. “It’s really nothing that we lose sleep or get better sleep over. I think it’s just for the love of the game.”

Softball ball isolated on white background
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Softball ball isolated on white background

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