After two straight Class B state titles and graduating the core of last year’s club, it was an easy assumption that the Fryeburg Academy softball team might be looking to rebuild this year.
The Raiders have done just that. Fryeburg has rebuilt a winner in a hurry and stands atop Western B with just one game remaining in the regular season.
The Raiders graduated five seniors from last year including pitcher Hannah Hill, who was Miss Maine Softball, as well as fellow starters Heather Tripp, Tanya Randall, Ellen Head and Desiree Ramsay. That was a graduation of nearly the entire infield.
Fryeburg opened the season with 12 consecutive wins, outscoring opponents 118 to 33 during that stretch. The Raiders dropped their first game of the season to Gray-New Gloucester on Monday, 5-4, but bounced back for a win over Lake Region.
Sophomore Charlotte Lewis has gone 13-1 and done a fine job on the mound. Returning regulars Brylie Walker, Maggie McConkey and Ariel McConkey have helped keep the Raiders going strong despite a much younger and less experienced nucleus.
Fryeburg ends the regular season with Poland on Friday and should be in the hunt for another title.
Learning from losses
After starting the season 8-0, the Oak Hill softball team dropped two games in less than a week. It provided the Raiders a little dose of reality as they prepare for a tough challenge in the Western B tournament.
“We told them that we have to play solid to really beat those really good teams,” said Oak Hill coach Julie Boucher. “We’re a great team, but when you don’t play 100 percent, you’re not going to get that win.”
The Raiders lost a close one at Medomak Valley. The two-time defending Eastern B champs eked out a 2-1 win. Just five days later, the Raiders were blanked by Maranacook, 4-0. The Black Bears are among the top teams ranked in Western B.
The Raiders plays Maranacook next Tuesday in the regular season finale. Oak Hill, ranked fifth in Western B, hosts the second-seeded Black Bears in the rematch.
“We know we have the capability of beating the big teams,” said Boucher. “We just have to make sure we’re playing solid all through on defense and offense. We can’t have a momentary lapse of judgement. We can’t be thinking of anything else. We’ve got to be 100 percent on.”
Championship games in respective conferences are slated for next week. The Mountain Valley Conference games are scheduled for Thursday at 4 p.m. at Hall-Dale High School.
The top team in each division, determined by Heal Points, will meet. In softball, Telstar and Georges Valley are both undefeated and appear likely to meet up again. The teams didn’t play each other during the regular season, but played last year in both the MVC game and Western C final.
The KVAC B championship game will be at noon on Saturday, June 5 at Medomak Valley in Waldoboro. Four teams are still in the hunt for that game. Medomak Valley is 11-3 while Maranacook, Lincoln Academy and Oak Hill are all 12-2. Final Heal Points standings and head-to-head results will determine the final pair.
Lincoln Academy has beaten both Medomak Valley and Maranacook while Oak Hill beat the Eagles. Maranacook and Medomak each beat Oak Hill.