June 13, 2013

WESTERN D SOFTBALL FINAL: Plummer throws perfect game as Richmond wins

By Matt DiFilippo mdifilippo@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

STANDISH — Basketball fans are used to watching Richmond’s Jamie Plummer dominate at the Augusta Civic Center. On Thursday afternoon, Plummer turned the Richard W. Bailey softball field at St. Joseph’s College into her personal playground.

click image to enlarge

Richmond's Payton Johnson, third from left in batting helmet, celebrates after she scored the Bobcat's 12th run on groundout by Kelsie Obi, 11 center, in fifth inning to win the Western Maine Class D softball championship 12-0 on Thursday at Richard M. Bailey Field at St. Joseph's in Standish.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

click image to enlarge

Jamie Plummer pitched a perfect game as the Richmond softball team beat Greenville 12-0 in five innings in the Western Maine Class D championship game Thursday in Standish.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

Plummer pitched a perfect game — allowing only one ball out of the infield — as the Bobcats defeated No. 2 Greenville 12-0 in the Western D final in a game stopped in the bottom of the fifth inning by the mercy rule.

“It’s kind of surreal to think about, at the end,” Plummer said. “We just wanted to win and we did.”

“Unbelievable,” Richmond coach Rick Coughlin said. “A perfect game in a Western final is quite a feat. She has come on so strong. Every game she’s just pitched better and better. She’s just been incredible.”

With the win, top-seeded Richmond (16-0) will have a rematch with Penobscot Valley in the Class D state final Saturday at St. Joe’s. PVHS defeated the Bobcats 4-2 in last year’s state title game.

Richmond would have been fine even had Plummer been off her game because the Bobcats were aggressive and confident at the plate. Richmond had 11 hits and drew four walks after scoring a total of 11 runs in two games against Greenville pitcher Molly Foley earlier this season.

“Our other games, we didn’t really hit good off of her,” Richmond first baseman Kelsie Obi said. “But when we came here, we hit great off of her. Her windup’s fast, so that’s what we focused on in our previous games. But today, we realized that we can hit her if we just don’t focus on her windup.”

Obi, Noell Acord, Payton Johnson and Brianna Snedeker each had two hits, while Andra Meagher had a double and two walks. Coughlin credited taking regular batting practice against former Richmond star Leandra Martin for the outburst.

“Since the last Buckfield game, she’s been pitching to us every day except for weekends,” Coughlin said. “It’s helped us immensely. You can see the confidence — just going down there and being ready to hit the ball, right down through the order.”

Greenville hit one ball out of the infield and that was when leadoff batter Jasmine Senatus opened the game with a flyout to right field. After the Lakers went down in order, Richmond went up 2-0 on an RBI triple by Snedeker and Obi’s RBI bunt single.

The Bobcats tacked on another run in the second and six more in the third to put the game out of reach. Johnson had the key hit with a two-run double down the right-field line.

Plummer was almost like a machine as Greenville’s innings were over quickly. She threw six pitches in the second inning, seven in the third, eight in the fourth and seven in the fifth. She finished the game with three strikeouts and a 42-pitch complete-game win.

“Today, me and Chika (Obi, Richmond’s catcher), we really worked on using the corners to try to get them to reach or to hit it up inside,” Plummer said, “and I think it was successful.”

After Greenville went down in the fifth, the Bobcats needed only one run to clinch the win and cement Plummer’s perfect game. They got that when Johnson singled, stole second, moved to third on an error and came home on Kelsie Obi’s groundout.

Richmond will again be facing PVHS pitcher Kayla Dube on Saturday. Dube struck out 14 in last year’s Class D final.

“You don’t win many games that way,” Coughlin said. “They’ve only got to make seven more outs. Hopefully, I think the way we’re hitting and playing, we can give them a good game.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

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