PARIS — Second-seeded Oxford Hills finished scored four runs in the sixth inning to pull away from third-seeded Hampden Academy and earn a 7-3 victory in the Class A North softball semifinals Saturday.

“We’ve worked very, very hard this season and have come back from some tough losses, and we just keep going,” catcher Sam McPhail said.

McPhail doubled and scored two runs — one in the fourth inning and another in the sixth — for the Vikings (16-2).

Oxford Hills will face either No. 1 Skowhegan (16-1) or No. 4 Edward Little (11-6) in the A North final, which is slated for Tuesday at Central Maine Community College in Auburn.

The Vikings took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning, and ended the frame with a five-run cushion after Gigi DeVivo, Allison Day, McPhail and Gabby Wright scored.

“It feels really nice, you know, we’ve been working towards playoffs and these moments all year so it feels really nice,” DeVivo said. “I think I’ve worked a lot personally this season with my batting, getting a lot of feedback from my coaches, and I just try to do my best to channel all that work into the game.”


DeVivo said that when she went to bat in the sixth, she was thinking to herself that she had to get on base, be smart with her base running and rely on instinct in the moment.

DeVivo, a junior second baseman, went 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Sophomore first baseman Charlotte McGreevy also drove in two runs and led the Vikings with three hits.

Hampden (13-5) got one run back in the top of the seventh when Mariah Coon scored, but the Broncos stranded runners at second and third to end the ball game.

Both teams plated a run in the first inning, each team’s run scored by its pitcher, Charlee Chute for Hampden Academy and Kyeria Morse for Oxford Hills.

Neither team scored until the Vikings added two runs at the bottom of the fourth inning. McPhail, who hit a one-out double, scored on Atalie Campbell’s two-out single, and DeVivo singled home Campbell.

McPhail said the fourth-inning double was crucial for her confidence, because she “needed to remind myself that I do know how to play this fun game that I love to do, and to be able to have a good hit definitely helped.”


“We needed to remind each other that we’re here as a family, and we’re here to play as a team,” McPhail, a sophomore, said. “We’ve come so far and I want to do this for our seniors, and we just want to we just want to get wins.”

Kiera Gabric scored for the Broncos in the top of the sixth, cutting the deficit to 3-2, but like in the seventh inning, Hampden stranded a pair of runners.

Oxford Hills coach Cynthia Goddard said Saturday’s win was nice because the team has not “come in command for a while, but keeps battling back.”

“I think we knew that we can put pressure on the ball, we can play a small game, we do have the ability to run, and I think those pieces just kind of came together with some good set kids at the right time,” Goddard said. “I don’t think they made many errors and we had to pretty much get the hits when we needed him, which doesn’t always happen.”

Goddard also said the Vikings were anticipating the close game. The two teams faced each other May 10, and Oxford Hills won 5-2.

“They weren’t afraid, they just got up, and it’s always nice when you’re the underdog,” Goddard said about the Broncos. “They’re not really that much of an underdog, but when you come in, sometimes when you’re the higher seed there’s still that little underlying pressure like, ‘Ooh, we shouldn’t be this close.’”


The key to Oxford Hills’ success in the postseason, McPhail said, has been going back and finetuning fundamentals like “hitting, bringing your hands to the ball and watching it,” which she called “easy stuff that we forget to do sometimes.”

Hampden Academy’s coach Deb Colpitts said she was proud of the Broncos for battling the entire game.

“I am proud of how the girls came fired up, they were ready to go and they didn’t let up,” Colpitts said. “They continued to fight and they continued to make them (Oxford Hills) work. We’ve come a long way since the beginning of the season, and this was, by far, probably one of the best games that we’ve played.”

Chute, a senior, pitched the entire game, striking out six, for the Broncos. Colpitt said Chute joined the team this year and had a “phenomenal season.”

“She doesn’t give up,” Colpitts said. “She’s a fighter, and so she is good at making sure she’s keeping the defense all fired up, ready to go and is talking and gives it her all, all the time.”

Chute, Gabric and Cat Facchini led Hampden Academy with two hits apiece.


Colpitts said the Broncos wanted to start Saturday’s game strong, which they did, and stay in the battle.

“We jumped on it a little bit up at-bat, but then we started to bring it back and started to put the ball in play and move runners,” Colpitts said. “We fell short a little bit on it, but they did well on trying to implement it.”

Morse pitched six innings to earn the win for Oxford Hills. She had six strikeouts. Cameron Mayhan came on in the seventh inning and finished off the victory.

The Vikings now await their opponent for the A North final. Skowhegan and Edward Little’s semifinal was called off due to rain Saturday, with Edward Little leading 2-0 in the third inning. The game will be replayed from the start Monday at 5 p.m. in Skowhegan.

The River Hawks and Red Eddies are responsible for both of Oxford Hills’ losses, but the Vikings also earned wins against both teams this season.

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