Whoever reasoned that pitchers are usually ahead of hitters in spring training ought to consult the Bowdoin College baseball team after its season-opening journey to Port Charlotte, Fla.

Not only did the Polar Bears win eight of 10 games on their Sunshine State trip, they hammered out more than a dozen runs per game while flaunting a decidedly local flavor.

Leading the onslaught were senior center fielder Jared Lemieux of Readfield (Maranacook) and junior middle infielder Nick Lawler of Auburn (Edward Little). Lemieux batted .474 on his southern swing, leading Bowdoin with 19 RBIs. Lawler lashed out at a .343 clip and knocked in 10 runs, fifth-best on the club.

Little has changed from last season, when Lemieux played 35 errorless games in center while batting .349 with team-highs of 52 hits and 41 RBIs. Lawler hit .335 in 29 starts at second base and shortstop.

Early-season offense also came naturally to Pat Duchette of Wales (Oak Hill). The newcomer to first base is hitting .429 with five RBIs. Manchester junior Mike Buckley, a high school teammate of Lemieux at Maranacook, celebrated his first spring as Bowdoin’s starting catcher by driving in four runs.

The Polar Bears’ punchiest performance in the south was a 34-5 laugher over Western Connecticut State.

By the way, Bowdoin’s presence on the hill isn’t bad, either. Junior Tyler Turgeon of Auburn (St. Dom’s) and senior Erik Morrison (Gray-New Gloucester) each picked up a victory in Florida. Ryan Turgeon, Tyler’s younger brother, also is expected to emerge as a valuable arm for the Polar Bears along with Duchette and Lemieux.

Rounding out the cast of area standouts is assistant coach Travis Dube. The multi-sport star at Livermore Falls High School also played baseball at Bowdoin.

Bowdoin combined for 44 wins in the 2004 and ’05 seasons, the most prolific two-year stretch in school history.

Dyer delivers, Saints march in

Four games into the women’s lacrosse season, Ashley Dyer has shown why University of Southern Maine teammates appointed her as a team co-captain in her junior season.

Dyer, a native of Harrison and product of the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School program, leads the Huskies with six goals.

That number already exceeds the production of her sophomore season, when Dyer delivered four goals and nine assists.

Southern Maine flaunts three local starters while pursuing its first win of the spring. Joining Dyer in the midfield is sophomore Ashley Arsenault of Roxbury (Mountain Valley). Freshman Anna Geismar of Minot (Hebron Academy) also has started three games.

On the men’s side, the Huskies are hosting somewhat of a St. Dominic Regional High School reunion. Three USM starters and one key reserve who played in the Huskies’ season-opener formerly wore the black-and-white for the relatively young high school program in Auburn.

Senior Caleb Eulitt of Minot anchors the USM defense, while junior Mark Bubier of Greene and freshmen Dylan Nadeau of Greene and Matt Manson of Leeds provide punch as attackers and in the midfield.

Bates springs to action

As it neared the end of its own trek to Port Charlotte, Bates’ baseball team deserved a late wake-up call last Saturday after playing 32 innings in three games the previous day.

Bates picked up a suspended game in the second inning and rolled to a 12-2 Friday morning victory over Elms College. Later, the Bobcats went to extra frames in both halves of a doubleheader against Western Connecticut, winning 1-0 before falling 9-8.

On the softball diamond, Kyla Decato of Paris (Oxford Hills) has enjoyed a seamless transition from the basketball hardwood.

The Bates senior started the first eight games at first base, hitting .320 while belting out a home run and three RBIs. The co-captain also shares the team lead with three stolen bases for the Bobcats.

Quick hits

Stephanie McCusker launched her senior season of outdoor track with a strong second-place finish for the University of Maine. McCusker, who was an all-state performer at Lisbon High School, covered 11.05 meters and was the triple jump runner-up in a meet at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. … Randi Dumont of Greene (Leavitt) played an integral role as Middlebury (Vt.) College captured its third straight NCAA Division III hockey championship. The freshman defender scored five goals, including a game-winner, and doled out two assists for the Panthers, who defeated Plattsburgh 3-1 in the final … Katie Morin of Lewiston was chosen Commonwealth Coast Conference Softball Co-Player of the Week for March 20-26.

The University of New England shortstop went 7-for-9 in a doubleheader split with Nichols.


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