ORONO — Three outs away from a loss, the Hall-Dale softball team looked like it was at the end of its rope.

But the Bulldogs never lost confidence and they never faltered. Down a run entering the seventh inning, Hall-Dale scored four runs on the way to a 6-3 victory over Bucksport in the Class C championship game Saturday in front of a capacity crowd at the University of Maine in Orono.

It’s the fourth consecutive state title for the Bulldogs (18-2), the first Class C team to win four straight since Madison accomplished the feat from 1994-1997. It’s also the second straight come-from-behind win for Hall-Dale, which scored seven runs in the final two innings to beat Spruce Mountain 8-4 in the Class C South final on Tuesday.

“This is the best one,” Hall-Dale senior catcher Zoe Soule said. “This is the best one and the hardest one (to win). It’s beautiful.”

Third baseman Jade Graham and shortstop Lucy Gray each had two hits for Hall-Dale.

“I’ve just been so impressed with these kids over the last four years,” Hall-Dale head coach Steve Acedo said. “All the hard work that they’ve put in. It’s hard to imagine (winning) four. It doesn’t seem real to imagine winning four, especially the last two, they were close games that were down to the wire. This is why I coach. It’s fun to be in games like that. Everybody likes to win, but winning in a game like that is what you want, especially in a championship game.”


It almost looked certain the Bucks (18-2) would walk away with the Gold Glove after the sixth inning. Down 2-1, Bucksport scored two runs in the inning on an RBI single by Simpson and a passed ball by Soule, which plated Jaden Tripp from third base.

“I knew I was going to get up (to the plate) again,” Soule said. “And I know that when I do bad in the field, I come back and I put it back with the bat. I said, ‘I’m not going to strike out in my last high school at-bat. I’m going to smoke this thing.’ I’m glad I just came back (in the seventh) with a hit.”

Hall-Dale was far from done, scoring its four runs in the seventh, highlighted by RBI singles from Graham and Gray. Second baseman Torie Tibbetts led off the inning with an infield single, lining it off Simpson and sprinting past the first base bag, setting the tone for what was to come for the Bulldogs.

“I’m just always thinking, ‘I’m getting on that bag,'” said Tibbetts, a junior. “I never had a doubt in my mind. I don’t care if I have to lose a leg. All of my fingers could have been shattered, I don’t care, I was going to get on that bag. My whole life was on the line at that point.”

Soule and Ashlynn Donahue added base hits in the inning for Hall-Dale.

Donahue earned the win in the circle, allowing three runs on eight hits. She struck out five batters.


“I knew if I go out there and pitch my game, (my teammates) would have my back,” said Donahue, a senior.

Simpson took the loss for the Bucks, despite a strong performance, striking out 10 Hall-Dale batters. Shortstop Sam Cyr and pitcher Natalie Simpson each had two hits for Bucksport, while catcher Jetta Shook added a double.

“I’m extremely proud (of the team),” said Bucksport head coach Rich Rotella, who took over the team after former head coach Mike Carrier retired during the regular season. “When I came in, we were 5-1. We had to play two games without a practice… It was a carbon copy of last year, we just couldn’t get that run when we needed to. We should have been able to in the first and second (inning), and that could have been the difference in the game.”

The Bulldogs beat the Bucks 2-1 last year for their third straight title. Hall-Dale has outscored opponents by an 18-6 margin over its four state title games.

“It’s unreal,” Donahue said. “The first (title), everybody said it was luck. But we kept doing it. And kept doing it and kept doing it.”

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