The Messalonskee High School softball team from Oakland won just three of its first 14 regular season games this season, a far cry from a year ago when the Eagles went 14-2 during the regular season and earned the top seed for the Class A North playoffs.
But, unlike a year ago when they were upset by eighth seed Bangor in the quarterfinals, the ninth-seeded Eagles put together a tremendous playoff run to earn a berth in Saturday’s state title game against Biddeford.
But Biddeford had lost to Skowhegan in last year’s state title game and it wasn’t going to happen for the second straight year as the Tigers walloped three homers and triumphed 8-1 over Messalonskee at the Cony High School field in Augusta.
It was Biddeford’s 10th win in its last 11 games and the Tigers finished with an 18-2 record. It was Biddeford’s first state title since 2016.
Biddeford was the second seed in the South.
Messalonskee, which was looking for its first state title since 2015, finished at 9-12 after having its six-game winning streak ended.
Biddeford jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back.
All three first-inning runs scored after two were out.
Chantelle Bouchard’s double and Baylor Wilkinson’s base hit put two runners on and Hannah Gosselin drove them both home with a two-run single.
She scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.
Winning pitcher Charlotte Donovan made it 4-0 in the second with a solo homer and Biddeford sewed up the win with four runs in the sixth after Messalonskee’s Morgan Wills had homered in the fourth to slice the lead to 4-1.
Senior Bouchard belted a three-run homer in the sixth and Wilkinson followed with a solo shot.
Donovan, a junior, struck out 14 en route to the victory.
She had shut out top seed Windham 2-0 in the A South final.
Biddeford also picked up shutout wins over Deering of Portland (24-0) and South Portland (6-0) en route to its regional title along with a 5-4 win over Kennebunk.
Messalonskee had outscored its four A North playoff opponents 32-4 and was coming off a 10-0 victory over defending state champ Skowhegan, which had beaten Biddeford 7-4 in last year’s final.
Wills, who one-hit Bangor (4-2) in the A North semifinals and allowed just two in the 10-0 A North championship game win over Skowhegan, struck out nine Tiger hitters.