North Yarmouth Academy found itself down by a run at the end of the first inning but led the game the rest of the way en route to a 7-1 win against Machias Memorial High School to capture its first Class D state championship at Coffin Field in Brewer on Tuesday.
NYA loaded the bases in the first but was unable to capitalize. Machias pitcher Jaida Case followed that with a leadoff triple in the bottom of the first, and she scored the game’s first run on an RBI single from junior second baseman Skyler Tinker.
The Panthers evened the game at 1-1 in the third, when Kailyn McIntyre scored on an error. Hayden Wienckowski drilled a ball to deep left to score junior Lily Rawnsley from third, catcher Cami Casserly drove in Wienckowski, and another run gave NYA a 4-1 lead.
NYA scored again in the top of the fourth to give the Panthers a 5-1 lead. Pouring rain forced a delay during the bottom of the fourth inning that lasted approximately 90 minutes as grounds crews had to repair a flooded Coffin Field. The Panthers scored again when the game resumed to take a 6-1 lead.
Wienckowski drove in another run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth to extend NYA’s lead to 7-1.
North Yarmouth Academy, which revived its softball program in 2021 and reached the Class D South semifinals out of the seventh seed, did not have a spring schedule a year ago.
The 2021 team was the first one at the school since it was in Class C West in 2008.
But the Panthers beat Richmond 14-3 in five innings in the semifinals after receiving a bye in the quarterfinals and then rallied past defending two-time state champ Searsport in the regional title game, 2-1.
The Panthers got just one hit and struck out 13 times against Searsport ace Ana Lang but manufactured a pair of unearned runs in the sixth and seventh innings to win it.
Rawnsley threw a two-hitter against Searsport, striking out eight and not walking anyone. The only run off her was unearned.
Machias reached its first state championship game after outscoring its three opponents in the Class D North playoffs 38-4.
The fifth-seeded Bulldogs ousted No. 4 Woodland 13-0, top seed Hodgdon 16-0 and No. 2 Penobscot Valley of Howland 9-4.
In the regional final, the Bulldogs overcame a 4-0 deficit to stun the Howlers, scoring four times in the sixth inning and four more times in the seventh.
Case tossed a four-hitter with 15 strikeouts against PVHS and has more than 500 career strikeouts.
The Bulldogs had 10 hits in the regional title game with Jaydin Anderson’s two doubles and two runs-batted in leading the way. Cassandra Dahl and Lauren Wood each had two singles and two RBIs and Case aided her own cause with two singles and a walk in four at-bats from the lead-off spot. She scored twice.