Bucksport’s Hannah Stevenson hits a grand slam during a high school softball playoff game against Orono on June 9 in Bucksport. Bucksport, which had beaten Dexter 7-3 in the Class C North quarterfinals two days earlier, topped Orono 16-2 to advance to the regional championship game against Narraguagus on Tuesday, June 12. RICK MCHALE PHOTO

Bucksport softball tops Orono to reach Class C North championship game

BUCKSPORT — Competing for championships has become an expectation for the Bucksport softball program in recent years. After a blowout win Saturday, the Golden Bucks will be doing so once again.

Bucksport advanced to the Class C North title game with a 16-2 home victory over Orono on Saturday. The regional championship game appearance was the eighth in a row for the Golden Bucks and put the team within two wins of claiming back-to-back state championships.

The Golden Bucks (17-1) strung together 18 hits and controlled the game early by taking a 6-1 lead through one inning and a 14-1 lead through two. Hannah Ashmore recorded four hits, MaKenzie Smith added two singles and a double and Hannah Stevenson hit a grand slam to center field.

In the circle, Kate Saunders pitched all five innings. The senior standout finished with three strikeouts and no walks as the top-seeded Golden Bucks defeated the No. 5 Red Riots (10-8) via mercy rule in five innings.

Bucksport will face No. 2 Narraguagus (17-1) for the Class C North championship at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, in Brewer. With a win, the Golden Bucks would advance to face Madison (18-0) or Sacopee Valley (16-2) in the state championship game at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at St. Joseph’s College.

A showdown with Madison would mark the fourth time in six years that the two teams have met for the Class C title. Bucksport beat Madison in the 2013 and 2017 state title games, and the Bulldogs edged the Golden Bucks in 2016.

GSA baseball falls to Houlton

George Stevens Academy’s baseball season came to an end Saturday with a 4-2 loss to top-seeded Houlton in the Class C North semifinals.

Austin Snow had two hits for the No. 4 Eagles, who led 2-1 entering the bottom of the fifth inning before Houlton (13-3) took the lead. GSA finished the season with a 12-6 record.

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