The No. 4 Searsport softball team has come a long way since coach Christin Chase came aboard three seasons ago.

And that hard work — and dedication to the sport — put the Vikings into the Class D South semifinals on Saturday, June 9, with top-ranked Greenville the only obstacle remaining for the Waldo County squad to advance to their first regional final since 2015.

The Vikings (9-9) had the Lakers on the ropes to the middle innings, but the higher seed rose to the occasion and plated runs en masse in the second half of the contest and surged past Searsport with a 10-6 win.

With the victory, Greenville (16-1) advances to the regional final, where it will face No. 3 Buckfield, which knocked off No. 2 Richmond 6-4 in another semifinal on Saturday.

Searsport’s campaign wrapped at 9-9. The Lakers also beat the Vikings twice during the regular season — 8-3 and 13-1.

Leading the Vikings at the plate were Ashten Wells (single, run), Mikaela Alley (single, run), Jenna Keach (double, single, run), Arianna Stemp (double), Emma Spiegel (double), Audrey Walker (run) and Casey Snow (double, run).

For the Lakers, Jessica Pomerleau (single, run), Morgan Notes (double, run), Aleya Pelletier (single, run), Bianca Breton (run), Making Reidmarker (double), Sierra Bussell (double), Tiegan Murray (single, run), Halle Pelletier (double), Jordan Mann (2 singles, 2 runs) and Shelby Cowin (single, 3 runs) paced the offense.

Keach pitched for Searsport, as she allowed 10 hits and five walks, with seven strikeouts, including striking out the side in the second inning.

Halle Pelletier pitched for Buckfield, as she allowed seven hits and five walks, with 14 strikeouts.

Chase said the game featured “a lot of back-and-forth,” as Searsport scored runs in the first and third and two each in the fourth and fifth, while Greenville came to life in the third inning with three runs before it added four in the fourth, two in the fifth and one more in the sixth.

Chase said while the Vikings often responded to Greenville's productive innings with runs of their own, “When they were able to score on us, they scored hard.”

“My girls played very well,” she said. “Some of the calls weren’t always in our favor, but they took each play for what it was and were always ready for the next. Obviously Grenville took advantage of what mistakes we had and definitely pushed their base runners to score.”

The third-year coach said, “We fought hard, the ladies definitely left it all out on the field [and] I’m very proud of them all.”

And, the Vikings graduate only three seniors — only one of which started in Saturday’s semifinal — so with hard work in the offseason, the stars could align for an even deeper run for Searsport in next year’s tournament.

“My team has definitely grown to be a family in the past three years that I’ve been coaching,” said Chase. “We keep taking steps forward. My first year we were just building ourselves and figuring out who we were. Last year we barely made it into the playoffs, and this year we won our first playoff game. I know that they will continue to grow and we will keep taking those steps to becoming champions.”