SKOWHEGAN — The Skowhegan softball team took its first step toward a fourth consecutive regional final appearance.

Undefeated and top-seeded Skowhegan came out swinging to score 11 runs over the first three innings en route to an 11-0 win over No. 8 Mt. Blue in a Class A North quarterfinal game Thursday afternoon. Mariah Dunbar had three of Skowhegan’s 13 hits on the day, including a pair of doubles, as one of four players with multiple-hit days for the No. 1 seed.

Skowhegan (17-0) will play No. 5 Messalonskee in a regional semifinal Saturday. Mt. Blue, which made its first quarterfinal appearance in more than a decade, finished its campaign at 8-9.

Skowhegan pitcher Sydney Ames fields a hard-hit grounder up the middle during a Class A North quarterfinal game Thursday against Mt. Blue in Skowhegan. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

“We hit the ball well today,” Skowhegan coach Lee Johnson said. “We showed some aggressiveness at the plate, something we need to do more of. But it’s good to get that feeling of the first (tournament) win.”

Skowhegan got things started right out of the gate, scoring five times in the first inning. Four of the first five batters in the lineup — the fifth was a sacrifice fly to bring in a run — collected hits. The biggest blow of the inning came off the bat of Dunbar, who delivered a two-run double in the inning.

It was more of the same in the third for Skowhegan. Four of the first five batters again hit their way on base en route to a six-run inning.


It was more than enough run support for senior pitcher Sydney Ames, who tossed a three-hit shutout with seven strikeouts.

All three Mt. Blue hits were singles, including two from Aislynn Provencher. Makayla Gross entered the pitching circle in the fourth inning for the Cougars and held Skowhegan scoreless the rest of the way.

Now Skowhegan looks ahead to the semfinals against Messalonskee, a team it beat twice during the regular season. In April, it was a 4-1 decision before a close one-run game ended the regular season on May 30.

“Both games could have gone either way,” Johnson said. “In both cases, timely hits late decided the game for us. Both teams have the ability to win this game.”

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